Before the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 10,000 patients from Turkmenistan visited India annually

From 1 to 4 April , President of India Ram Nath Kovind will pay a state visit to Turkmenistan . This will be the first visit of the president to independent Turkmenistan.

On the eve of it, representatives of the Indian Foreign Ministry held a briefing for the media, at which they voiced interesting data on relations with Turkmenistan.

Indian Foreign Ministry Secretary ( Western Relations) Shri Sanjay Verma said bilateral trade figures are considered "modest" at just $97 million in the first nine months of this fiscal year, of which more than $90 million is from Indian exports . . This is due to the geography of countries, as well as a small market.

The Secretary further expressed his hope that "India will regain its place as a favorite destination for Turkmen medical tourism."

“ Before we were hit by COVID-19, there were between 25 and 30 Turkmen patients arriving in India every day. That is more than 10,000 per year . And when everything resumes, we, I am sure, will restore this aspect of our bilateral relations,” the diplomat said.

Touching upon the topic of cooperation in the field of gas, Shri Sanjay said that partnership with Turkmenistan would bring dividends. In addition, India has offered a $1 billion loan to Central Asian countries, including Turkmenistan.

The allocation of the loan became known during the meeting of the India-Central Asia Dialogue held on December 20 last year in New Delhi. Then the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi noted the importance of the speedy implementation of projects within the framework of the allocated $1 billion loan from India to the countries of Central Asia. Funding was allocated for projects in the field of IT technology, medicine, education, tourism, transport, logistics and energy.

“Another area of cooperation with Turkmenistan is the implementation of highly effective development projects. Then there are grant projects, such as the Indian-Turkmen Information Technology Center in Delhi, as well as the Turkmen-Indian Industrial Training Center in Ashgabat,” the secretary said.

He also said that the Indian community in Turkmenistan is very small, less than 100 people.

“With regard to the results of this visit, a joint statement will be signed, as well as memorandums of understanding on disaster management, financial intelligence , cooperation and culture on youth affairs; and also presented a postage stamp in honor of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations,” said Sri Sanjay.

Touching upon the topic of TAPI, the diplomat noted that the Indian side has concerns about the security of the territories through which the gas pipeline will pass, as well as questions about the economic principles on which TAPI relies. The President's visit will allow once again to discuss these topics.

Source: Chronicles of Turkmenistan