President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev will attend Vibrant Gujarat international investment summit as a key guest of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 18-20, 2019. Uzbekistan becomes first among Central Asian states to be a country partner of Vibrant Gujarat biennial event. This is the second visit of President Mirziyoyev to India during the last four months. State visit of Uzbekistan’s President in October 2018 opened a new chapter in Uzbek-India relations, including wider trade and investment cooperation.
Participation of Uzbekistan in Vibrant Gujarat summit includes government and business level meetings, trade show exhibition, country seminar and the first meeting of Uzbekistan-India Business Council. As Uzbekistan is opening up as an investment destination, Indian businessmen look at the country as a hub for further expansion within the resource rich region.
Economic liberalization, rapid political reforms and encouragement of FDI make Uzbekistan an inviting destination for business and investment. Indian companies are exploring investment opportunities in the pharmaceutical, textile, education, IT, tourism and other sectors in Uzbekistan. To attract investments in the pharmaceutical sector, an Uzbek Indian Free Pharmaceutical Zone is being developed in the Andijan region. This project was among 17 agreements that were signed during the Uzbek president’s State visit to India. A direct flight between Tashkent and Mumbai, launched last year, also facilitates business between western India and Central Asia. Tourists flow from India to Uzbekistan increased 30% for the last year.
High level delegation of Uzbekistan at Gujarat summit includes heads of Investment Committee, Trade Committee, Chamber of Commerce, Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as more than 60 business owners, CEOs of biggest national and private companies of Uzbekistan.
Country pavilion of Uzbekistan at Gujarat Trade Show will expose large spectrum of industries including automobile, metallurgy, pharmaceutical, construction, IT, banking, textile and leather, machinery, food processing, tourism, education and others.
The country seminar of Uzbekistan will take place on the second day of Vibrant Gujarat forum on January 18, 2019. Special focus will be made on Uzbek Indian Free Pharmaceutical Zone in Andijan region of Uzbekistan. Andijan and Gujarat are developing mutual cooperation within a partnership memorandum.
Uzbekistan-India Business council will also hold its first meeting during the Gujarat summit. The launch of Business Council was announced during the State visit of Uzbekistan president to India in October 2018. The council facilitates initiatives pertaining to the promotion of trade and investment, business alliances and possibilities of direct collaboration between companies from both the countries in sectors such as agriculture and agro-processing, health-care, education, textile and apparel, chemicals and pharmaceutical, leather, auto and engineering, energy, gems and jewelry, tourism, amongst others.
The Government of Uzbekistan is working with foreign investment banks and other international financial institutions to realise the vast economic and social reforms. President Mirziyoyev recently signed an ‘Innovative Development Strategy for 2019-2021 and the Road Map for its implementation’. The strategy aims at ‘the development of human capital as the main factor enhancing Uzbekistan’s competitiveness and innovation.’ By implementing this, Uzbekistan plans to join the ranks of 50 advanced countries in the Global Innovation Index by 2030. Dynamics of current development of Uzbekistan is highly acknowledged internationally. The Doing Business 2018 report ranks Uzbekistan 74th among 190 countries. The country has moved 13 places up in and was also included in the ‘Top 10 improvers’, based on reforms undertaken.
Uzbekistan provides most favored nation (MFN) status to 45 countries, including India. Friendly investment environment is based on a reliable legal frame and wide range of guarantees and benefits for investors, including tax incentives, providing land and buildings on attractive terms.
In Uzbekistan, 18 free economic zones (FEZ) have been established with a 30-year operational life and the possibility of a subsequent extension. Seven of them have a pharmaceutical focus.