Among all the Central Asian Republics Uzbekistan has fast emerged as a market economy and the resource rich country has established close business ties with India. Indian economic interests in Uzbekistan range from pharmaceuticals, textile, agriculture, tourism, education, energy, entertainment and much more.
“In the last five months there have been two high level visits between the two countries: President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev paid a State visit India in late September 2018. Moreover President Mirziyoyev also was the Chief Guest of Global Investment Summit “Vibrant Gujarat-2019” in January 2019. The first India-Central Asia Dialogue at the level of external ministers with the participation of Afghanistan was organized on 12-13 January, 2019 in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. Due to the agreements reached at the highest levels, Indian investment in our country has witnessed a steady rise with Amity University setting up a campus in Tashkent and Sharda University Campus coming up in Andijan, besides this a Tourism and Hospitality University is slated to come up at Samarkand. We offer wide range of incentives for Indian companies to invest in Uzbekistan” said A’zamjon Mansurov the First secretary, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Uzbekistan in India. He was speaking at a discussion on ‘India-Central Asia: Traditional ties and Development Partnership’ organized by Research and Information System for Developing Countries’ in New Delhi recently.
Mansurov highlighted how Gujarat has been very proactive in establishing business relations with Uzbekistan. “Gujarat has taken a lot of interest in Uzbekistan it is the official partner state of the Andijan state. The delegation of Andijan headed by the Governor of region also participated in ‘Vibrant Gujarat -2019’ Global summit.”
He also spoke about the importance of connectivity between the two nations and Indians being one of the biggest segment of Foreign tourist arrivals in Uzbekistan “Air connectivity is improving all the time, recently a flight service between Mumbai and Tashkent was started to operate through Uzbekistan Airways.
Indian tourists are one of the biggest foreign tourist arrivals in Uzbekistan this we expect rise as from June 2018 we have started the option five day Visa free regime for any Indian transiting tourist. Both the countries have started E-visa facilities for each other’s citizens.”
Mansurov said that India’s film producers too have started to see Uzbekistan as a possible film shoot location “Last year the Bengali film industry completed a project shooting an entire series of short films in Uzbekistan. We expect more such projects to be completed in Uzbekistan in the future.”
He identified Pharmaceuticals sector as the industry where India and Uzbekistan have huge opportunities for implementing mutually beneficial joint projects. “More than half of our pharma imports are from India and a Special Pharmaceutical zone in Andijan exclusively for Indian pharmaceutical companies is established.”