India-Uzbekistan relations are central to India’s vision of an integrated extended neighborhood. Outlined seven emerging areas of cooperation between the two countries, namely- Digital Payments, Space Cooperation, Agriculture & Dairy, Pharma, Gems & Jewellery, MSME and Inter-Sectoral Cooperation.
- India and Uzbekistan have a long history of cooperation. After the independence of Uzbekistan, India was one of the first countries to recognize its state sovereignty.
- India and Uzbekistan have strengthened cooperation in various fields such as politics, trade, investment, defense, security, counter-terrorism, science and technology, atomic energy, space, and information technology, as well as cultural and educational ties between the two countries. Got a boost.
- Both sides welcomed the conduct of the joint military exercise “Dustlik 2019”.
- India has also helped set up an India Room at the Uzbekistan Armed Forces Academy in Tashkent.
- India and Uzbekistan share a common approach to a number of security issues including terrorism, transnational organized crime, illegal trafficking etc.
- A key focus of the engagement in this area is providing support to Uzbek security agencies through training and capacity building.
- It has increased from US$ 247 million in the year 2019-20 to US$ 34.2 million in the year 2021-22, which is an increase of 38.5%.
- Indian investments by Indian companies include investments in pharmaceuticals, amusement parks, automobile components and the hospitality industry.
- Amity University and Sharda University have opened campuses in Tashkent and Andijan respectively.
- Indian organizations such as create are actively collaborating with Uzbek counterparts to promote the startup ecosystem in Uzbekistan and provide training to entrepreneurs in setting up incubators.
- The Uzbek government has extended the e-Visa facility to Indian tourists.
- Uzbekistan has also emerged as an important source of medical tourism, with approximately 8,000 Uzbeks visiting India annually for medical treatment.
- Uzbekistan has expressed interest in joining the International Solar Alliance.
- There has been interesting in Indian participation in the development of the solar energy sector through competitive bidding.
- National Coordination Committees: India and Uzbekistan have formed National Coordination Committees to oversee the implementation of mutually agreed projects and initiatives.
- India-Central Asia Business Council: All five Central Asia to advance trade and investment partnerships with a special focus on energy, pharmaceuticals, automotive, agro-processing, education and urban infrastructure, transport, civil aviation, IT and tourism Business councils of Asian countries were brought together.
- India-Central Asia Dialogue: It enables further strengthening of relations between India and the countries of Central Asia in politics, economics, digitization and cultural and humanitarian fields.
Challenges regarding India-Uzbekistan relations
- The volume of trade and commerce between the two countries is very small.
- Lack of connectivity, as Uzbekistan is a landlocked country and air connectivity infrastructure is comparatively underdeveloped.
- China has included all Central Asian countries, including Uzbekistan, in the Belt and Road Initiative.