Uzbekistan, India to Afford a New Impetus to Bilateral Cooperation
As it was reported earlier, at the invitation of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov, Prime Minister of the Republic of India Narendra Modi arrived July 6 in Tashkent on an official visit.
The Uzbek-Indian relations are distinct with high level of bilateral interaction that is built on the centuries-old history of multifaceted friendly bonds between our two peoples.
India has been well known in our country from times immemorial as a land with rich history and unique culture, which our people is tied with ages-old cultural and trade relations. Yet crucially the two lands have been linked with earnest friendship.
Much in history, literature, music, arts and architecture of the Uzbek and Indian peoples and their mutual enrichment is associated with the name of our great ancestor, Zahiriddin Muhammad Babur.
Major events within the official visit by the Prime Minister of the Republic of India took place at the Kuksaroy residence.
Following the ceremony of meeting the high-ranking guest, Islam Karimov and Narendra Modi held talks in a contracted format.
“We consider your first official visit to Uzbekistan as a notable event in the sociopolitical lives of our two countries, as a critical new stage in the advancement and consolidation of historically established Uzbek-Indian friendly relations,” Islam Karimov stated.
Narendra Modi stressed that Uzbekistan is one of India’s most reliable and important partners in Central Asia, and that the current visit opens up a good opportunity to boost the bilateral ties and take them to a new, higher level.
It was noted by the two sides that the urgency of these negotiations rises if one takes into account the swiftly changing situation in the world, the mounting conflicts, the tension and the geopolitical rivalry at the global and regional layers, the expanding phenomena of terrorism, extremism and radicalism, manifesting – overtly or indirectly – in the Central Asian region, as well.
The critical analysis, assessment of the current state and prospects of relations between Uzbekistan and India is one of the most pressing issues on the agenda, which gave start to the talks of Islam Karimov and Narendra Modi. Then on, the two sides exchanged views in detail across a diversity of topics, affording in particular a new potent impetus to the Uzbek-Indian relations by way of mobilizing the hitherto unused opportunities and capacities, enhancing the scales of cooperation in the political, economic, investment and cultural-humanitarian areas.
President Karimov and Prime Minister Modi thoroughly discussed the current regional and international issues that our two nations are equally concerned with. In particular, the sides swapped visions on the situation and developments unfolding in Afghanistan and agreed that they are unanimous in the idea that the crisis has no military solution. Greater emphasis ought to be placed on the provision of economic aid to Afghanistan, to the implementation of social, infrastructure and humanitarian projects, to addressing issues related to the employment of population as well as the most pressing challenges in combating poverty, destitution and lawlessness. It is essential to display unconditional respect to the ages-old traditions, customs and values of the people of Afghanistan.
As it was put, establishment of peace and harmony on that much-troubled land is in the interests of all the peoples of the region and is one of many factors in achieving common region-wide goals and objectives.
From the economic perspective, the soonest institution of peace and stability in Afghanistan would not merely bolster and enhance regional cooperation, but also facilitate the formation and development of economically beneficial routes that make the markets of India and Central Asia closer.
It was underscored that the community and similarity of approaches to addressing the core regional and global issues is reliable bedrock for the interaction of sides within the frameworks of international organizations. Our two countries support each other’s initiatives during summits of the United Nations as well as nominations to various UN agencies, and they interact dynamically within other international and regional institutions.
The two countries maintain inter-parliamentary contacts. Political consultations are held regularly between the foreign affairs ministries.
As it was noted, the robust normative foundation of the relations between Uzbekistan and India, and primarily the Joint Declaration on Strategic Partnership signed in 2011, expands the opportunities for boosting the cooperation across a broad spectrum of dimensions, including all aspects of political, economic, cultural-humanitarian spheres, which the two sides consider mutually advantageous.
Islam Karimov and Narendra Modi continued negotiations with the participation of official delegations of the two countries. The focus was on issues pertinent to the promotion of trade-economic, financial, investment, cultural-humanitarian cooperation.
Current issues in the bilateral trade-economic relations are discussed and tackled during sessions of the Intergovernmental Commission on Trade-Economic and Scientific-Technical Cooperation. Islam Karimov and Narendra Modi said that the commission is expected to become an effective mechanism in the realization of agreements reached at the highest level on all the directions of shared interest.
The sides stressed the interest of public institutions and private businesses of the two countries in further building up and diversifying the reciprocal supplies of goods and services, in setting up joint ventures in high-tech sectors of the economy, such as information technologies and telecommunications, pharmaceuticals and biotechnologies, light and chemical industries, as well as prospecting and development of hydrocarbon deposits.
To date, 82 enterprises with the participation of Indian capital and representative offices of 22 firms and companies of India operate in Uzbekistan.
Despite the growth in the indicators of mutual trade (twofold increase within the past four years), the turnover between Uzbekistan and India does not meet the potential of the two countries’ economies. The volume reached 315.9 million U.S. dollars in 2014 (growth by 21.2 percent). Given that the economic relations constitute a foundation for the strategic partnership, the two sides agreed to bolster the interaction in order to shore up the volumes of turnover and diversification of the range of goods in it, including by encouragement of direct contacts among the representatives of business by way of the arrangement of trade fairs and other events.
Representatives of Indian business are particularly interested in the opportunities provided by the transcontinental intermodal hub at the airport of the city of Navoi. Currently, this international hub operates regular flights to major transit points of the world, including such industrial centers of India like New Delhi and Mumbai. Likewise, of great interest for the Indian business community are the possibilities of Jizzakh and Angren special industrial zones.
The development of investment cooperation to establish high-tech industries jointly with leading Indian companies is a priority dimension. A success story on this front has been the collaboration with companies Minda and Olive Teelecommunications in the Navoi Free Industrial Economic Zone.
Joint ventures like Nova Pharm, Bravo Pharma, Ultra Health Care and Gufic Avicenna, among others, have been effectively operating in the pharmaceuticals sector.
Uzbekistan is interested in further attracting Indian high-tech companies to the implementation of joint projects in the organization of production of ready-made industrial goods in demand, including chemical products, modern and highly effective medicines as well as new types of construction materials.
The partnership in the healthcare sector has been dynamic, too. In Tashkent, Bukhara, Samarkand, Ferghana and other cities of Uzbekistan, specialists of Indian clinics constantly conduct medical examinations and provide patients with consultations on cardio surgery, neuro-surgery, nephrology, oncology, hepatology, orthopedics and other areas of healthcare. Medical workers of Uzbekistan and India exchange within programs of retraining and attending specialized courses in the clinics of the two countries.
An important direction of cooperation is the further expansion of the mutually advantageous interaction in the field of air transport. Uzbekiston Havo Yullari National Airway Company conducts regular flights from Tashkent to New Delhi and Amritsar.
The cultural-humanitarian exchange has seen dynamism lately. Thus, starting from the year 1993 within the frameworks of the Indian program of technical and economic assistance, more than a thousand Uzbek specialists in information technologies, English, banking, small business, management, agriculture and other fields have been trained in India.
Hindi language is taught at the Tashkent Institute of Oriental Studies. The Mahatma Gandhi Center of Indian Studies that hosted a number of international conferences last year has operated at this Institute since 2008.
Uzbek language courses are organized at the University of Jami Milli in Delhi.
Currently, the higher education institutions of Uzbekistan cooperate with more than 10 Indian universities and research institutions and centers. Dynamic has been the partnership in science; a number of research institutions of Uzbekistan’s Academy of Sciences interact and conduct joint research projects with academic centers in Delhi, Mumbai, Pune.
Indian masters of arts are regular participants of the Sharq Taronalari International Music Festival in Samarkand. The Indian singer Rashmi Agarwal became Grand-Prix winner of the festival in 2013.
The athletes of Uzbekistan and India have been active in tournaments on diverse types of sports organized in the two countries. The Association of Uzbek National Kurash is set up in India.
Following the negotiations, the two sides signed a joint declaration of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Republic of India. The bilateral documents inked included those on cooperation in the field of tourism, on the further interaction between the foreign affairs ministries, Program of Cooperation in the Cultural Sphere for 2015-2017.
At a meeting with representatives of mass media, Islam Karimov and Narendra Modi said that they had a fine opportunity to discuss in detail the current state and prospects of the bilateral cooperation in political, trade-economic, investment and cultural-humanitarian areas. They exchanged views on regional and international affairs of shared interest. It was stressed that the positions, views and evaluations on all issues considered are close or they concur. Uzbekistan and India highly value the level of relations between our two peoples who are tied with ages-old historical, cultural and humanitarian bonds, and the Joint Declaration as well as a range of important intergovernmental and inter-agency documents penned during the visit will open up extensive prospects for the enhancement of cooperation across a great diversity of areas.
The two sides expressed confidence that the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Uzbek-Indian dialogue at the highest level create a good basis for triggering a potent impetus to the development of bilateral cooperation. The visit will serve as reliable bedrock for the new stage of mutual relations characterized as strategic partnership in all dimensions of interaction on a long-term basis.
The official visit of the Prime Minister of the Republic of India to the Republic of Uzbekistan continues.
Date: 2015-07-07 10:17:35, Viewed: 3583