Reforms in Uzbekistan attract more Indian businesses

Reforms in Uzbekistan attract more Indian businesses

BAKU, Azerbaijan, July 5

By Ilkin Seyfaddini - Trend:

India's aim is to build an all-encompassing ties with Uzbekistan, which covers all areas of India's national endeavours for further progress and prosperity, Ambassador of India to Uzbekistan, Shri Santosh Jha told Trend.

"We are seeing a growing interest from Indian businesses in a wide range of sectors in Uzbekistan. This is directly related to ongoing reforms and opening of the economy that is happening in Uzbekistan. Obviously these create new opportunities and as a close partner of Uzbekistan, we are helping promote Indian companies to invest and build capacities in a wide range of sectors,"said Santosh Jha.

According to the ambassador, over the last year, the sides have seen proposals in areas such as pharmaceuticals, hospitals and healthcare; development and management of airports and cargo complexes; clean energy including solar power generation; information and communication technology; agriculture and food processing; and in the education sector in Uzbekistan.

"Indian pharmaceutical company, Cadila, has announced an investment of $50 million in a pharmaceutical plant in Andijan region of Uzbekistan, among other such proposals. Last year, prestigious Indian educational institutions such as Amity and Sharda universities have opened campuses in Tashkent and Andijan respectively. Following the visit of a large business delegation from Gujarat last year, investment and cooperation proposals have emerged in a wide variety of sectors, including agriculture and food processing; automotive parts and textiles, pharmaceuticals and healthcare; IT and innovation; education and capacity building; hotels, tourism and hospitality; construction and real estate; and energy. Both sides are actively pursuing these proposals," stated Santosh Jha.

The ambassador said, that both governments are working to expand bilateral trade, which through growing at a rapid pace is still far below potential at $325 million.

"Our leadership has set the target for $1 billion and this is quite achievable. We need to tap into the right sectors and facilitate businesses on both sides. Conclusion of a Preferential Trade Agreement at an early date can help in this regard. Both sides are also working closely to increase market access for agricultural products. Some areas have been opened and others are under negotiation. Similarly, continued reform and active efforts can promote investment relationship in areas mentioned above. India has offered grant assistance and concessional credit to promote development cooperation the two countries with emphasis on social and economic infrastructure," said Santosh Jha.

As he said, establishment of direct connectivity through Afghanistan and Iran, absence of which for various reasons is currently a significant constraint in promotion of bilateral trade, could be another area for future development.

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Follow author on Twitter: @seyfaddini

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