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India-Greater Central Asia Linkages

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Siddharth Saxena (Montu).

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Indian policymakers and analysts believe that Central Asia is important because of its strategic location, proximity – Tajikistan is just 20 km from Greater Kashmir – and of its energy resources So restoring traditional linkages with its extended neighbourhood in Central Asia and beyond has been one of the primary strategic priorities of the government. However, despite the intentions and rhetoric, India has never really been a serious player in the “new great game” which followed after the Soviet collapse in the region. Lack of direct road transportation access and difficult market conditions have meant the region never became attractive to Indian private companies. In the post-socialist period, economic relationship with the region has declined considerably. Still, opportunities are enormous as shown by London-based Indian steel tycoon Laxmi Mittal. His company employs 50,000 people in Kazakhstan alone from where it supplies to the Chinese market. With right initiatives, the GCA region has the potential to alter the nature and character of India’s continental trade

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