Indian PM Modi began his trip to five countries in central Asia on July 6, 2015. According to Deccan Herald, his first stop was Uzbekistan, and then Kazakhstan, after which he would attend the 7th BRICS Leaders’ meeting and the 15th SCO Leaders’ meeting in Ufa, Russia. He would end his trip with visits to Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. It is the first time that Indian Prime Minister has visited the five countries in central Asia together in a trip. Indian media have high expectations on his trip, in which, they thought, energy, trade and geographical strategies would be eye-catching topics.
The schedule of this trip contains profound meaning. Firstpost said in a report on July 5th that Modi would hold talks with local experts on Indian studies and students learning Hindi in Tashkent, capital of Uzbekistan, aiming to strengthen the standing of Uzbekistan as a center of Global Indian studies. In Nazarbayev University of Kazakhstan, Modi would deliver a speech and inaugrate the Indian-Kazakhstan super computer research center. In Turkmenistan, the first traditional medicine and Yoga center in central Asia would be completed. In the capital of Kyrgyzstan, the central hospital of Bishkek would launch a pilot project of net treatment with Indian hospitals. As for visits to Tajikistan, leaders of both countries would hold “close talks” according to the Foreign Ministry of India. But media held the view that the talks would cover the cooperation in military sector.
Although Modi’s trips to the five countries in central Asia have various features, but they hold same targets. Energy cooperation is considered to be the first petition for the whole trip. The Hindus analyzed that central Asia gathered the most plentiful and diverse energy sources in the world. For example, Kazakhstan was among the main petroleum importer list. Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan have the biggest natural gas reserve. Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan have rich oil and gas resources, which remained untapped due to economic restrictions. The construction of energy channels is as important as energy trade. The Economic Times pointed out that India had been promoting the construction of oil and gas channels connecting Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan.
Confederation of Indian Industry considers that this trip will be a milestone to re radiate the vigor of the long-standing exchanges between India and five countries in central Asia. CII holds the view that, except for energy sector, there’s great potential for India to cooperate with countries in central Asia in mining, metallurgical industry, agricultural products, medical, textile, chemical industry and so on. Yearly turnover between India and the five counties are only 1.4 billion USD, lagging far behind the five countries cooperation scale with China and Russia. It is estimate by the CII that Kazakhstan is India’s biggest trade partner among the five countries in central Asia. Only by strengthening the supply of Petrochemical energy sources, the turnover would exceed that of the past.
The geographical strategy concerns are also an important part of Modi’s trip to central Asia. The Hindu analyzed that the five countries in central Asia was a focus of China’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative, and India awaiting a chance to participate in the project. The paper quoted Jay Shankar, Secretary of Foreign Affairs of India: “China and India are at the entrance of substantive discussion on the cooperation under the framework of the “One Belt, One Road” initiative.”
《 人民日报 》（ 2015年07月07日 21 版）