NEW DELHI: Language barriers, weak banking system and poor connectivity are some of the key factors impeding the higher level of trade with Central Asian countries, Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal said in Lok Sabha on Wednesday.
Goyal said that efforts are being made to boost trade by resolving various trade-related matters through existing institutional mechanisms between India and Central Asian countries. "Some factors impeding the higher level of trade with Central Asian countries include language barriers, the stringent process of registration of products, problems in dispute settlement, weak banking and financial system, low accessibility, poor connectivity and visa issues with these countries," he said during Question Hour.
Central Asian countries Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan are members of the Eurasian Economic Union (EaEU). The minister said a joint feasibility study has been conducted to explore the possibility of a free trade agreement with EaEU in which Russia, Armenia, Belarus are the other three countries. The Joint Feasibility Study (JFS) has found there is a significant realizable potential to enhance bilateral trade with Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan through a trade agreement, he said.
Further, Goyal said, a joint statement has been shared with Uzbekistan to commence a joint feasibility study to explore preferential trade agreement between India and Uzbekistan. The likely potential of the bilateral trade would be determined once the joint feasibility study gets completed, he said.