Experts discussed prospects for Uzbek-Indian cooperation
Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) – On 19 January 2022, the third Uzbek-Indian forum of think tanks was held in the format of video conference.
The organizers were the International Institute of Central Asia (MICA), the Information and Analytical Center for International Relations (IACM) and the Indian Council on International Affairs (IIAC).
The event from the Indian side was attended by representatives of the Institute of Global Studies, Schools of International Relations of Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi Political Group and Regional Trade Centers, Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Center for Western and Central Asia of the Tillotoma Foundation.
The Uzbek side at the Forum was represented by the leaders and experts of MICA, ISMI, CERR, IPMI, IACMO, UWED, TashGUV, NGO "Bilim Karvoni" and the Embassy of the Republic of Uzbekistan in India.
During the discussions, the experts considered the development of cooperation in the field of "green development" and digitalization, trade and the economy, as well as the development of cultural, humanitarian and social ties.
Deputy Director of the International Institute of Central Asia B. Mustafayev, speaking at the event, noted that since 2016, under the leadership of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev, a proactive and pragmatic foreign policy has been pursued. This gave a new impetus to the development of the Uzbek-Indian multifaceted cooperation. The holding of the next meeting of the Forum once again confirms the level of strategic partnership between Uzbekistan and India, shows the parties’ firm commitment to deepening multifaceted and mutually beneficial cooperation.
As a promising area of interaction, the expert singled out the development of cooperation in the field of the "green" economy, which is an important factor in ensuring sustainable development for both countries.
For these purposes, the importance of cooperation within the framework of regional and international structures to attract financial resources for the development of the "green" economy, as well as the development of energy-saving technologies and the production of high value-added goods, was emphasized.
Director of the Information and Analytical Center for International Relations D. Kurbanov noted that the development of political dialogue and the promotion of mutually beneficial cooperation with India has become an important priority of foreign policy and foreign economic activity of Uzbekistan.
Uzbekistan is interested in consistently building up mutual trade, expanding investment and cooperation ties with India. It is necessary to further improve institutional trade and economic mechanisms, increase investment in modern industrial production, technology and innovation.
The development of international transportation is important for Uzbekistan and other countries of Central Asia. In this regard, the International Transport Corridor "North - South" with the use of the Iranian port "Chabahar" is of great interest. We are interested in the development of transport and logistics cooperation in the format "Uzbekistan-Iran-India", in the creation of a joint logistics company.
Vijay Thakur Singh, Director General of the Indian Council of Foreign Affairs, stressed that the role of Uzbekistan, especially in the light of the ongoing policy towards neighboring Afghanistan, is very important for Delhi.
At the moment, Uzbekistan and India are at the epicenter of events in the region, which makes regular consultations between the two parties very important for mutual understanding and building trust:
“Relations between the countries of Central Asia have grown and developed over the years, and the impetus for the development of cooperation with India was provided through regular contacts, exchanges and interaction from both sides.”
The Ambassador of India to the Republic of Uzbekistan Manish Prabhat noted that relations between the countries over the past 5 years have intensified significantly and it is important that this is supported by the leaders of Uzbekistan and India.
The head of the diplomatic mission said that India is looking forward to holding the India-Central Asia summit, which will be held on 27 January, with great hope.
Interest was expressed in intensifying contacts through bilateral cooperation between India and Uzbekistan, which will allow in the near future to bring the level of trade to US$1 billion.
Punchok Stobdan, an employee of the Delhi Political Group Analytical Center, noting the promising areas of Uzbek-Indian cooperation, pointed to new areas of interaction, including cooperation in the field of start-ups and innovations, science and technology, as well as alternative energy.
Head of the Center for Eurasia and West Asia, Mina Singh Roy noted that maintaining cultural and humanitarian relations is a vital element of cooperation between India and Uzbekistan:
“Uzbekistan and India have centuries-old ties. The study of the historical roots of these relationships will help strengthen the friendship of the peoples of the two states, raising Uzbek-Indian relations to a higher level.”
In general, experts from Uzbekistan and India assessed the forum of think tanks as a very effective and fruitful event. It was emphasized that the Forum has become an important platform for the exchange of views between experts of the two countries on topical issues in the development of Uzbek-Indian relations, as well as the development of practical proposals and recommendations for strengthening bilateral relations of strategic partnership.