Ashgabat, 12 June 2013 (nCa) — Two separate news stories, entirely unrelated to each other, are of immediate importance for Central Asia.
Reuters reports that India has offered incentives to its businessmen for exports to Iran. The trade ministry of India hopes that the incentives will help double the country’s exports to Iran, reaching US $ 6 billion during the current fiscal year.
The main part of the incentive is that the Indian traders will be able to re-export to Iran whatever they have import from elsewhere, as long as they add a mark up of at least 15% on the import price.
This means that India is offering to be a middleman between Iran and the countries that are either unwilling or unable to export directly to Iran.
What is more, the Indian businessmen can sell to Iran in Indian Rupee, making redundant the need to use US dollar or Euro.
This will not only cushion the impact of sanctions on Iran to some extent but it will also help India carve a bigger slice of the Iranian market on long term basis.
This is an example that Central Asia must study with the intention of doing something similar.
If nothing else, a pragmatic mix of good neighbourliness and business sense demands that Central Asia should exercise flexibility in dealing with Iran to nullify the sanctions that have no moral or legal justification whatsoever.
The Reuters story can be seen here: http://news.yahoo.com/india-offers-incentives-exports-iran-173431014.html
AP reports that the Russian parliament has passed anti-gay bill in 436-0 vote with just one abstention.
The bill, likely to pass through the upper house and get Putin’s approval without any hitch, bans giving the children any information about homosexuality.
The law, when in force, will entail fines on individuals and organizations that engage in propagating LGBT information to minors. The foreign citizens violating this law can be deported and in addition may also be put into jail for up to 15 days.
The simplified position, after this bill becomes a law, would be: Homosexuality is not a criminal offence in Russia but promotion of homosexuality is.
The AP story can be found here: http://news.yahoo.com/russian-lawmakers-pass-anti-gay-bill-436-0-164959267.html
Central Asia would be well advised to define its own perimeters, and commonsense suggests that such perimeters may not be wider than those determined by the Russian Federation.
Every country and every society is free to drive its demographic vehicle in any chosen direction but a little bit of prescience would help predict as to where would the journey end.
Regardless of the real or perceived religious restrictions or moral norms, the question begs phased projection for two generations i.e. about 38 years from now. No brainer, this one.