Good morning, Excellency Ambassador Sanjay Verma,
Excellency Ambassador Vijay Thakur Singh
Excellencies, Ambassadors, dear colleagues and guests,
It is a great honor for me today to address and warmly welcome the participants of International Conference to Commemorate 30th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between Central Asian countries and India.
Taking this opportunity, I extend my gratitude to the Ministry of External Affairs of India and the leadership of ICWA for their efforts for hosting this very important interaction between think-tanks.
On 18th of March of this year we marked the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. India was among the first countries to recognize the independence of Uzbekistan. Since then, over the 30 years of cooperation the ties of two nations in political, economic, cultural and other areas have been steadily developing. In May 2011, a Joint Declaration on Strategic Partnership was signed between two countries.
In fact, all of you know that friendly ties between Uzbek and Indian peoples have a very long history and date back to many centuries, or many thousand years. Peoples of our countries have common and very close culture, language, cuisine, common crafts heritage, traditions and more.
Showing commitment to centuries-old traditions of friendly relations, today Uzbekistan and India demonstrate mutual interest to bring interstate partnership on the level of qualitatively new areas.
Today, the new Uzbekistan is becoming a country of democratic transformations, big opportunities and practical deeds.
In the beginning of this year the New Uzbekistan Development Strategy adopted for the next 5 years. It was developed on the basis of the principle “Human Interests Above All” and is aimed at solving such important tasks as the development of a free civil society and human capital, further stimulation of entrepreneurial activity, protection of the rights of investors, ensuring the inviolability of private property and gender equality.
The reforms, openness, transparency, renewal, and changes observed in the domestic policy of Uzbekistan in recent years are also evident in the country’s foreign policy. Uzbekistan pursues an active foreign policy at the regional and global levels.
One of Uzbekistan’s main foreign policy objectives is to create an atmosphere of peace, stability, and security. In this regard, we have identified the development and strengthening of friendly, good-neighborly, and mutually beneficial relations with Central Asian states as a key foreign policy priority. We are committed to a consistent, open, and pragmatic foreign policy.
The strengthening of long-term strategic partnership with India is one of the priorities of Uzbekistan's foreign policy. The bilateral ties acquired further momentum after the visits of the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev to India in 2018 and 2019. And Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Tashkent in 2015, 2016 and in September of this year to Samarkand.
A virtual summit held in December 2020 between President of Uzbekistan and Prime Minister of India, marked an important milestone and culminated with the adoption of a Joint Statement on Close Friendship and Strong Partnership.
The challenging situation related with coronavirus pandemic in the world made our bilateral relations even stronger and more effective. Both Uzbekistan and India have provided friendly assistance to each other in difficult periods which consisted of very crucial and necessary pharmaceutical products and medical equipment.
The first India-Central Asia Summit which was held in January of this year opened a new page in the relations between our countries.
The development of human capital through active interaction in the field of education and healthcare; deepening of economic partnership; and cooperation in the cultural and humanitarian sphere are noted as priority areas of cooperation.
On a meeting on the sidelines of SCO Summit Samarkand our leaders emphasized bilateral cooperation in trade, economy and connectivity. They recognized the need to diversify the trade basket and promote investment and enhance connectivity, including greater usage of the Chabahar port. Cooperation in Information Technology, healthcare, higher education etc. was also discussed.
Regular dialogue between the leaders of our countries is added by active contacts at the level of governments, parliaments and ministries.
Dear distinguished guests,
Our countries have huge untapped potential for increasing the scale of cooperation in the spheres of trade and investments.
During the last four years, we have witnessed a considerable intensification of trade and economic cooperation with India.
Currently, there are about 370 enterprises with the participation of Indian capital in Uzbekistan, including 241 enterprises with 100% Indian capital.
Another positive impetus in the development of economic ties between Uzbekistan and Indian is the establishment of the direct partnership relations between regions of two countries. In this context, cooperation between Andijan region of Uzbekistan and state Gujarat of India have shown its advantages. It is noteworthy that in a short period several joint projects are already being implemented together with Indian companies in Andijan. We are happy to note that same mechanism of cooperation is also established between Fergana and Haryana in August of this year.
All of you are witnessing how fast developing of cooperation between our countries in many directions.
It is a pleasure for me to note that the four-year Cultural Exchange Program between Uzbekistan and India was signed during the visit of Honorable Minister of state for external affairs and culture Meenakashi Lekhi to Uzbekistan in September 2021.
Cooperation in the field of tourism between Uzbekistan and India is going to reach new heights in the post-pandemic era. We should work on increasing the number of direct flights between Tashkent and Delhi, and other cities with the participation of Indian air carriers as well.
Dear distinguished guests,
Taking this opportunity in the event dedicated to the anniversary of diplomatic ties, I would like to also note the significant contributions of think-tanks of Uzbekistan and India to the further strengthening of people-to-people contacts. In this regard, I extend my gratitude to the team of ICWA for their efforts and initiative to organize forum of Uzbek-Indian think tanks. Despite the restrictions related with the pandemics, this platform already had three forums in a short span of time.
Today in this conference we are very happy to see also the representatives of different leading think-tanks of India and Central Asia. We sincerely welcome all of you and highly appreciate your personal contribution to the development of multifaceted cooperation between our countries.
I am sure that participants of today’s event will have very useful discussions and exchange opinions and new ideas not only for the further elevating of mutually beneficial bilateral partnership between our friendly countries, but also for the future’s development of Central and South Asian regions.
I would like to wish this Forum a great success and look forward to valuable recommendations emerging from your deliberations.