Mr. Avaz Khodjiev recalled old historical and cultural connections and discussed ways to further expand and strengthen economical ties at the meeting in World Trade Center Mumbai
“India is a strategic partner for Uzbekistan with a current bilateral trade of US$ 320 million which has potential to reach 1 billion in the coming years in sectors such as minerals, pharmaceuticals, textiles, chemicals, oil and gas, automotive, agriculture, construction material, logistics, light, IT, communication etc.”, said Mr. Avaz D. Khodjiev, Counselor (Trade & Economic), Republic of Uzbekistan in India, at an interactive session on ‘Doing Business with Uzbekistan held at the World Trade Center Mumbai which was jointly organized by World Trade Center Mumbai and All India Association of Industries.
Mr. Khodjiev, presented on the ‘Export Potential of Republic of Uzbekistan’ where he highlighted the macroeconomic stability of his country with an inflation rate of 7 per cent and GDP growth rate of 8 percent, 30 times increase in export growth with steady decrease in tax burden and focus on small business and private entrepreneurship contributing to job creation of 77 per cent of the employed population. Uzbekistan has a stable banking and financial system which is in consonance with Basel Core Principles. The country has been ranked among the 5 fastest growing economies of the world according to the World Economic Forum.
Speaking on the potential of Uzbekistan, Mr. Khodjiev highlighted the investment opportunities pertaining to low cost of energy resources (gas, electricity), general and special incentives (tax, custom, cotton), easy availability of vast stocks of raw material (cotton, yarn) and skilled labour in traditional textile production and access to international markets.”Although we produce 10 million fresh food and flowers, we lack in the technology know-how of food processing, where India could play a major role in filling the gap”, he opined.
Further, he stated that there is tremendous potential for Indian investors in the special economic zones namely, ‘Navoi’, ‘Angren’ and ‘Jizzakh’ in Uzbekistan. In addition, Uzbekistan organizes more than 50 international exhibitions every year to promote trade and investments.
Mr. Vijay Kalantri, Honorary Consul, Consulate of the Republic of Uzbekistan in Mumbai, Vice Chairman, World Trade Center Mumbai and President, All India Association of Industries presented the opening remarks. Mr. Kalantri said, “With improvements in the ease of doing business and the Indian government’s new initiatives, there are innumerable opportunities for trade and investment between Uzbekistan and India. Both governments can enhance connectivity by participating in the International North South Transport Corridor project involving ship, rail and road route between India, Russia, Iran, Europe and Central Asia”. Mr. Kalantri suggested that Uzbekistan should explore possibilities for direct flights between India and Uzbekistan. There is considerable scope for cooperation in various sectors such as mining, automobile parts, tourism and logistics.
Capt. Somesh Batra, Vice Chairman, World Trade Center Mumbai suggested that “India - Uzbekistan Business Forum should be held in Mumbai and Tashkent to discuss and identify trade and investment opportunities. This exchange of delegations and trade information will facilitate and strengthen bilateral trade between the two countries”.