Deep roots of relations between Uzbekistan and India
India was one of the first countries to recognize the state sovereignty of Uzbekistan. The protocol on establishment of diplomatic relations between Uzbekistan and India was signed in Tashkent on March 18, 1992.
The Uzbek-Indian relations distinguish with their high level of bilateral cooperation based on centuries-old history of comprehensive friendly roots between the two peoples.
India is well-known in Uzbekistan for a long time as the country with rich history and unique culture; the country with which Uzbek people are connected with centuries-old cultural, trade and economic relations, and, above all – with bonds of sincere friendship.
As the results of the state visit of the First President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov to India in May 2011, a Joint Declaration on Strategic Partnership was signed. The document expanded 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.
Showing commitment to centuries-old traditions of friendly relations, today Uzbekistan and India show mutual interest to bring interstate partnership on the level of qualitatively new boundaries.
The President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev and Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi met on June 9 2017 at the SCO summit in Astana. They agreed to deepen the strategic relationship. The Uzbek President congratulated the Indian Prime Minister for India joining as a full-fledged member of the SCO during the summit.
Shavkat Mirziyoyev further expressed that this meeting was a good opportunity to discuss the pace of implementing the agreements, reached during the visit of the Prime Minister of India to Uzbekistan in 2016 and to determine prospects of further developing bilateral cooperation.
Narendra Modi expressed sincere gratitude for Uzbekistan’s firm support of the membership of India in the SCO. He underlined that this historical event will create principally new opportunities for developing further multifaceted bilateral partnership, allow enhancing regional cooperation in the sphere of security, trade-economic and investment spheres.
The Prime Minister of India once again congratulated Shavkat Mirziyoyev on his election as the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan and expressed confidence in further development of the cooperation between two countries, based on mutual trust.
Regularly held political consultations between Foreign Ministries of two countries are also considered as important mechanism promoting advancement of the Uzbek-Indian comprehensive partnership. There is also success in dialogue within the international and regional organizations.
On August 20-23, 2017, high powered delegation of Uzbekistan headed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulaziz Kamilov paid an official visit to India. During the visit, top-level meetings with the leaders of India in different spheres were held.
During the visit, the Uzbek delegation attended Uzbek-Indian business forum, and at the end of the business forum, an opening ceremony of the Uzbek-Indian trading house was held; 22 export contracts were signed worth more than $80 million as well as 20 investment agreements with the value of more than $70 million.
Important direction of the Uzbek-Indian partnership is further expansion of trade and economic cooperation. Nowadays, both nations benefit from favored treatment in mutual trade. The commodity turnover between Uzbekistan and India in 2016 was worth $370 million; 113 enterprises with Indian capital and representation of 15 Indian companies are doing successful business in Uzbekistan.
Car parts manufacturing with “Minda” company at the Navoi Free Economic Zone, modern full-cycle enterprises, manufacturing medicines and injection drugs in Surkhandarya and Tashkent regions with “Novafarm” and “Ultra Heathcare” companies are successful examples of the investment cooperation.
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.
The partnership in the healthcare sector has been dynamic, too. Medical professionals of Uzbekistan and India exchange visits 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. “Uzbekistan Airways” operates regular flights from Tashkent to New Delhi and Amritsar. It is planned to open a new air-rout Tashkent-Mumbai in the future.
It is essential to note the increase of the number of Indian tourists to Uzbekistan. Majestic architectural monuments of Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva and Shakhrizyabs which are listed in the cultural heritage of UNESCO, magnificent nature and climate, and also traditional hospitality of the Uzbek people are an integral part of interest of Indians in modern day Uzbekistan. Sharp increase of number of the Indian tourists to Uzbekistan is evident by the following number – in 2016, about 16 thousand Indian tourists visited Uzbekistan.
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 and Pune.
Undoubtedly, cooperation between Uzbekistan and India has a huge unused potential and high opportunities based on the strong and firm basis – century communications of friendship, trust and mutual understanding between Uzbek and Indian peoples.