BISHKEK: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday invited Kyrgyz businesses to invest in India, saying the country has a huge market and is determined to become a five trillion dollar economy in the next five years.
"The country offers a skilled workforce, ease of doing business and double taxation avoidance besides excellent connectivity for trade and investment to prosper. I welcome Kyrgyzstan businesses to invest with our Indian businesses and you are always welcome to India," he said after jointly inaugurating the India-Kyrgyzstan Business Forum with Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Jeenbekov.
Modi said that while the two countries share close cultural and economic ties, it is more important to boost relations in the key areas including trade and investment. "It is clear that currently our trade and economic cooperation is lower than the possibilities. Therefore, the need for a business forum has come at the right time," the Prime Minister said.
"Growth in economic status and advancement in technology in India are the prominent reasons for development across the globe. Besides, youth and innovators of India will play a significant role in the attainment of India's goal of five trillion dollars," Modi added.
Modi is on a two-day visit to Kyrgyzstan and attended the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit, besides holding bilateral meetings with several leaders including Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.
The Prime Minister underlined that there are three catalysts for boosting trade and economy -- conducive atmosphere, connectivity and business-to-business. Modi said that both India and Central Asian countries should focus on enhancing connectivity. "Chabahar Port has emerged as a new way for connection between India and Kyrgyzstan," he added.
He said that Kyrgyzstan is renowned for organic products, mountain honey, walnuts, dairy products, textiles, railways, hydropower and mineral tourism and India wants to seek cooperation in these sectors. The Prime Minister informed that in order to boost business-to-business between India and Central Asia, a 'Namaskar Eurasia' trade fair will be organised in Bishkek this year.
The trade between the two countries was USD 24.98 million in 2016-17. India's exports to Kyrgyzstan was USD 22.66 million whereas Kyrgyz exports to India was USD 2.32 million. Apparel and clothing, leather goods, drugs and pharmaceuticals, fine chemicals and tea are some of the important items that India exports to Kyrgyzstan. Kyrgyz exports to India consist of raw hides, metalliferous ores and metal scrap.