A Resolute Drive to Act for the Good of the Two Peoples
Greeting President Shavkat Mirziyoyev during his state visit to India for first time in history, which took place on September 30 - October 1, Prime Minister Narendra Modi underscored that the robust strategic partnership between Uzbekistan and India is critical in New Delhi’s interaction with Central Asia.
The leader of Uzbekistan began his first state visit to India with a trip to Agra, and that was deeply symbolic. Indeed, it is in this very city that the Taj Mahal, equally dear to the Uzbek and Indian peoples, was erected by order of the descendant of the great Zahiriddin Muhammad Babur, Shah Jahan, in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal in 1632–1653.
“I am truly glad to be in the hospitable land of India,” Shavkat Mirziyoyev said. “In the heart of every Uzbek, India has a special place. Our peoples have historical ties, similar customs and traditions, the closeness of the spiritual and cultural world. For us, India is a great civilization that radiates the light of good and tolerance. Visiting Agra, our entire delegation was once again convinced of the kindred ties that bind our peoples. Today, India is rapidly developing, acquiring a new look, confidently strengthening its role as a global power and one of the leading economies of our planet. This nation is at the forefront of innovation, programming, industry, services, and many other areas.”
In this context, Uzbekistan’s leader highly appreciated the dynamics of Uzbek-Indian relations and expressed his conviction that the visit would allow the two sides to foster the strategic partnership to a new level.
The arrival of the President of Uzbekistan almost coincided with the birthday of an outstanding statesman, a symbol of the independence of India, Mahatma Gandhi. To pay tribute to his memory, Shavkat Mirziyoyev visited the Raj Ghat Memorial erected in honor of the national hero. The cult figure is the embodiment of titanic will, courage, patriotism and the desire to make our world a better place. Uzbekistan’s head of state captioned his reverence for the amazing man in a book for honored guests.
The political format of the negotiations took place in the city of New Delhi. In the capital’s Palam Airport, President of the Republic of Uzbekistan was met in accordance with the traditions of Indian hospitality.
Shavkat Mirziyoyev held a meeting with leaders of major Indian companies in the residence reserved for the delegation of Uzbekistan.
It was noted at the talks that large-scale reforms implemented in Uzbekistan contribute to creating favorable conditions for the business of foreign investors.
The business forum held on the eve of the visit of Shavkat Mirziyoyev had served as an effective platform for building partnership between the entrepreneurial circles of our two countries. The forum participants discussed the prospects of bilateral relations in the trade, economic and investment spheres, in particular, the establishment of the Uzbek-Indian Business Council.
The main events of the state visit took place on October 1.
On that day, the leader of our country received greeting in the Rashtrapati Bhavan Palace at an official ceremony of meeting. The guard of honor lined up to solemnly welcome the distinguished guest. The orchestra played the national anthems of the two countries. The head of our state walked past the guard of honor.
At the talks between Shavkat Mirziyoyev and Narendra Modi in an expanded format, i.e. with the participation of official delegations of the two nations, it was noted that India wields tremendous economic opportunities and is the sixth largest economy in the world.
The Uzbek side stressed that India’s experience and technologies in the areas of innovation, programming, high-tech, healthcare and services are important for our country where great attention is paid to their advancement. Dynamically developing, supporting investors, Uzbekistan is a promising partner for India.
The parties discussed new opportunities for bilateral cooperation in the trade and economic, investment spheres, in the field of high technologies, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, tourism and other sectors. They stressed that there are still untapped opportunities where the active development of direct contacts between the regions of the two countries can play a special role.
In general, within the framework of the Uzbek-Indian negotiations, 20 documents were signed, aiming to foster the bilateral cooperation in various fields to a new, even higher level. A Joint Statement was adopted by the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Prime Minister of the Republic of India.
In addition, the parties inked memorandums of understanding on the development of relations in the fields of military education, law and justice, pharmaceuticals.
At a press briefing for representatives of the media, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev noted: “We have agreed to secure the trade turnover between the two countries to 1 billion US dollars... The current negotiations have shown our resolute desire to act for the good of our countries and peoples.”
In his turn, the Indian Prime Minister said: “The President of Uzbekistan and I have expansively discussed the cooperation between our nations and outlined its promising areas. We reached agreements on the application of preferences in mutual trade, cooperation in the field of information technology, between regions, and on a number of other issues.”
In order to create favorable conditions for the implementation of these tasks, the delegations agreed to encourage direct contacts among the regions of Uzbekistan and the states of India and the business communities, organize joint regional business forums and cooperation exchanges, exhibitions of exportoriented products, open trading houses, conclude trade and economic and investment contracts.
According to experts, the visit and its outcomes will undoubtedly occupy an important place in the history of bilateral ties and bring the relations of the two countries to a qualitatively new level.