India-Central Asia Dialogue Current Affairs - 2020

India-Central Asia Business Council launched in New Delhi

The Ministry of External Affairs along with FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry) recently launched the India-Central Asia Business Council. They were joined by 5 countries namely Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyz Republic. The Council will act as a common platform for the businesses of Central Asia and India.

Highlights

According to the External Ministry trade between the countries stand at 2 billion USD. The Council discussed on making the Chabahar port commercially attractive. The Council will also aim at promoting trade and investment between India and the four countries. They will focus on oil and gas, renewable and non-renewable energy, life sciences, pharmaceutical, agro-food processing, IT, urban infrastructure, tourism and transport.

Background

The Council is the outcome of India and Central Asia Dialogue that was held in Samarkand, Uzbekistan in 2019. The Dialogue and the Council formed are part of India’s Central Asia Policy. Under Central Asia Policy India aims to build strong political relations and will aim to strengthen security cooperation.

India-Uzbekistan bilateral Meeting

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev held a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2019.

Important Outcomes of the Bilateral Meet

  • An agreement for importing uranium from Uzbekistan was signed.
  • An agreement for a line of credit of $200 million from India for financing housing and social infrastructure projects in Uzbekistan.

The agreement for the supply of Uranium was signed between the Department of Atomic Energy of India and the Novoi Minerals and Metallurgical Company of the Republic of Uzbekistan on the long-term supply of uranium ore concentrate for India’s energy requirements.

The bilateral meet also expressed satisfaction over the memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cooperation between Gujarat and the Andijan region of Uzbekistan signed during the state visit of President Mirziyoyev to India in 2018.

Trade relations between India and Uzbekistan

India’s major exports to Uzbekistan include Pharmaceutical products, mechanical equipment, vehicles, services, optical instruments and equipment.

India imports include fruit and vegetable products, services, fertilisers, juice products, extracts and lubricants from the Central Asian nation.

An Uzbek-Indian Free Pharmaceutical Zone is being developed in the Andijan region, which is on the southeastern side of Uzbekistan, near its border with Kyrgyzstan to attract investments in the pharmaceutical sector.

During the Bilateral meet, India thanked Uzbekistan for the support in organising the first-ever India-Central Asia Dialogue held at the level of foreign ministers in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.