New Delhi: India is committed to build a strong economic partnership with Uzbekistan, Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu said on Friday.
Addressing the India-Uzbekistan Business Forum here organised by the industry chamber Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) ahead of the upcoming state visit of Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, Prabhu said India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world and the service sector has huge potential to play an important role in India-Uzbekistan partnership.
“Uzbekistan was once part of the ancient Silk Route linking the Far East to Europe. We would now like to make it part of the Silicon Route,” Prabhu said.
“India and Uzbekistan could cooperate to foster the development of new and advanced technologies and with that create the new Silicon Route.”
Describing Uzbekistan as a bridge between Asia and Europe which is going to be a thrust area in India’s trade policy, the Minister offered to set up skill development training centres in the Central Asian nation.
India-Uzbekistan trade relations are governed by the Agreement on Trade and Economic Cooperation signed in May 1993.
This agreement provides for mutual most favoured nation (MFN) treatment, promotion of economic, industrial, scientific and technical cooperation, including active participation of small and medium-size enterprises in bilateral economic cooperation, a Commerce Ministry release said.
Both countries signed an agreement on Avoidance of Double Taxation in 1993, and for Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection in May 1999, it said.
While India’s exports to Uzbekistan include pharmaceutical products, mechanical equipment, vehicles and optical instruments, it imports fruits and vegetables, services, fertilisers and lubricants from the Central Asian nation, the statement added.