Business Will Grow Between Uzbekistan and India
Uzbekistan has a lot to offer Indian business – the largest in Central Asia, dynamically developing market; political and macro-economic stability; rich reserves of minerals and natural resources; qualified human resources and low cost of energy carriers. As Uzbekistan's economy is opening up and dynamic reforms are happening in the country Indian business circles are becoming frequent visitors with the aim to invest and create joint economic projects.
'We propose to unite efforts aimed at the formation of new, significant investment projects that will bring Uzbekistan-India relations to a qualitatively new level,' the Deputy Prime Minister of Uzbekistan Sukhob Kholmuradov stressed during one of the business forums in Tashkent. Prior to the first State visit of the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev to India this finds a higher urgency and priority.
During the last 18 months, exchanges between Indian and Uzbek businesses became most frequent. In August, 2017 during the visit of the delegation of Uzbekistan to India, 22 contracts worth more than $80 million as well as 20 investment agreements worth over $70 million were signed. Following discussions in February 2018, the Uzbek-Indian Business Forum on Pharmaceutical and Chemical Industry was held in Tashkent which saw the participation of the State Minister of Chemical Industry and Fertilizers of India M Mandavia.
On 16 August, 11th meeting of the Uzbek-Indian intergovernmental commission for trade, economic and scientific and technical cooperation was held in Tashkent with the participation of Sukhob Kholmuradov, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Chairman of the State Committee on Investments and Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of India, a delegation of over 100 businessmen of India arrived in Uzbekistan to attend the meeting.
Today, Indian companies operate in Uzbekistan's wholesale and retail trade, manufacturing, petroleum products and chemical products, textile and leather goods, food, services, agriculture and construction. Approximately, 139 enterprises, including 59 joint ventures with 80 per cent and 100 per cent foreign capital, operate. For 6 months of 2018, trade turnover amounted to $134.7 million, including exports – $13.9 million, imports - $120.8 million.
Uzbek enterprises show their eagerness to expand direct supplies to India of strategic goods such as uranium concentrate, non-ferrous and rare-earth metals, cableconductor products, polyethylene and polypropylene, chemical products, mineral fertilisers, and fresh and processed fruit and vegetable products. Bilateral relations have big potential for development in the fields of pharmaceuticals, ICT, textile industry, tourism, health and innovation. Based on these indicators, there is provision for all the necessary reserves for a multiple increase in turnover and bringing its volume to 1 billion dollars.
Tax incentives, duty-free import of industrial equipment and other investor incentives are provided in Uzbekistan. Free economic zones are functioning in Navoi, Angren, Jizzakh, Khazarasp, Kokand, Urgut, and Gijduvan. In addition, seven SEZs specialising in the production of pharmaceutical products have been established in Uzbekistan.
Sukhob Kholmuradov, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Chairman of the State Committee on Investments (left) with Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of India.
Meeting in progress.