Ahead of the upcoming state visit of Shavkat Mirziyoyev, President of Uzbekistan, the India-Uzbekistan Business Forum in association with Embassy of Uzbekistan and CII brought over 150 Uzbek representatives from ministries and leading businesses as well as Indian business leaders and private business owners under one roof. To further promote bilateral trade relations between the two countries an exhibition “Made in Uzbekistan” of Uzbek products was displayed at the event.
Addressed by Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Commerce, Government of India, Deputy Prime Minister Sukhrob Kholmuradov, Adkham Ikramov, Chairman of Chamber of Commerce, Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General at CII and Shiv Khemka, Chairman CII Central Asia Committee & Vice Chairman SUN Group, the forum ushered in possibilities of partnerships across varied sectors.
Addressing the attendees, Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Commerce & Industry, India highlighted the vital partnership that Uzbekistan and India share in context to trade, tourism and investment opportunities. He further stated that the upcoming visit of the President of Uzbekistan should be a transformative landmark visit and that it will mark a new chapter in Indo-Uzbek relations. Further, he said, “Uzbekistan used to be a part of the silk route and now we would like to be linked by a silicon route, which we are currently conceptualizing.”
He reiterated India’s unwavering support for Uzbekistan in all endeavours of bilateral development. Highlighting the importance of trained service professional. He assured Uzbek representatives that India would support Uzbekistan with programs of skill training.
Expressing his deep gratitude for the cordial welcome and hospitality that has been extended to the Uzbek delegation, H.E. Deputy Prime Minister Sukhrob Kholmuradov, said, “relying on our shared values, we are striving to further strengthen and raise Indo-Uzbek relations to a new level. We want to develop mutual trade and investments between our countries across various spheres of industry and services. We have taken decisive steps to create a favourable investment climate and these will go a long way in enhancing bilateral cooperation. Sectors such as oil & gas, healthcare, pharma and tourism infrastructure are rapidly evolving and we invite Indian businesses to take advantage of the unique opportunities that are present here.”
Speaking about the tremendous potential for business opportunities and investments in Uzbekistan, officials discussed prospective exports in agriculture and natural resources. They noted, significant changes in the last two years due to the efforts of H.E President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, which have been the impetus for bilateral reform across sectors.
Additionally, H.E. Adkham Ikramov, Chairman of Chamber of Commerce, shared details about the current investment landscape in Uzbekistan, saying there are 145 companies that operate in Uzbekistan with Indian cooperation, 21 of which with 100% Indian capital.
As a result of the business forum, both countries agreed on more than 50 investment projects, worth a total of $3 billion USD, which will be implemented in Uzbekistan by Indian businesses. Particularly the construction of Indian IT parks in Uzbekistan, branches of Indian universities and hospitals, infrastructure projects and opportunities in the sectors of textiles, oil & gas and energy among others.
The volume of bilateral trade amounted to 323.6 million USD in 2017 and these anticipated agreements are set to further boost, cooperation in sectors like pharma, trade (imports and exports), information technology, innovation, defence and tourism between the two countries.
The Uzbek-Indian Business Council
The recently established joint council is aimed at promoting trade and investment cooperation between Uzbekistan and India; fostering direct contacts between business peoples of both countries; providing information and consultations to companies in the matter of bilateral economic collaboration; and encouraging close relations between the Council members and representatives of state bodies of both countries.
The council is working closely with the Federation of Indian Industry on organizing visits of businessmen of two countries, with MSME Development Forum on exchanging experience in support of small business and private entrepreneurship as well as organization of bicycle production in Uzbekistan, with Sun Group company on implementing investment projects in the mining and energy sector of Uzbekistan.