It’s time to enhance Indo-Uzbek private sector cooperation: Mr Furkat Sidikov, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs to Uzbekistan

New Delhi : It is time to enhance our trade and business operations, especially between the private sector of India and Uzbekistan, said H.E. Mr Furkat Sidikov, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs to Uzbekistan, at an Interactive Session organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) yesterday.

The minister said that Uzbekistan wants to use the Chabahar Port to access the Indian market. He also spoke on potential sectors of cooperation between India and Uzbekistan. These include pharmaceuticals, IT, healthcare, processing storage of agriculture products, and cotton. “We believe that our economy could complement each other, not compete”, he said.

On India-Uzbekistan relations, he said, “this year, India and Uzbekistan are celebrating 30 years of diplomatic relations”, and alluded to the long historical relationship between the two nations.

Speaking on occasion, H.E. Mr Dilshod Akhatov, Ambassador of Uzbekistan to India, said the strengthening of long term strategic partnership with India is one of the key priorities of the foreign policy of Uzbekistan. “Now, bilateral relations encompass a wider canvas, including political and military issues, trade and investment, and people-to-people ties”, he said.

Showcasing the Uzbek opportunity to Indian industry participants at the event, the ambassador highlighted that the country is the largest and the fastest growing market in Central Asia. In addition, he noted that Uzbekistan enjoys socio-political, macro-economic and financial stability.

The ambassador averred that about 350 Indian enterprises are operating across various sectors in Uzbekistan, and 220 enterprises “are of 100 per cent Indian capital”.

Ambassador Akhatov also said that “the annual trade turnover between Uzbekistan and India is about USD 500 million”, adding that the two nations’ leaders have resolved to increase the bilateral trade to at least USD 1 billion over the next two years.

Dr Harjinder Kaur, Co-Chair, India-Uzbekistan Forum for Business and Entrepreneurship & Past President, FICCI Ladies Organisation, alluded to a new sense of purpose and direction for businesses from both the countries to redefine and unveil the “Next Phase” of India-Uzbekistan trade and economic relations. She said, “start-ups have a key role in the future of India-Uzbekistan business ties, apart from Industry 4.0 and digital space.”

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