PM Modi, Uzbek President hold first virtual summit to discuss bilateral ties

Prime Minister Modi during his address at the summit assured that both India and Uzbekistan firmly stand together against terrorism and have very similar views on the issues of regional security.

India-Uzbekistan virtual summit
India-Uzbekistan virtual summit

Prime Minister Modi and President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev held first virtual summit on December 11, 2020 in order to discuss the entire spectrum of bilateral relationship between both the countries.

According to the Ministry of External Affairs, this was the first virtual bilateral summit which was held between India and Central Asian country. Several MoUs and government to government agreements were also expected to be concluded during the summit.

India and Uzbekistan stand against terrorism: PM Modi

Prime Minister Modi during his address at the summit assured that both India and Uzbekistan firmly stand together against terrorism and have very similar views on the issues of regional security.

He also expressed his wish of strengthening ties with Uzbekistan and stated that the India government wants to further deepen the strategic partnership with Uzbekistan.

Invitation for official visit to Uzbekistan

As Prime Minister Modi expressed his wish of visiting Uzbekistan this year but wasn’t able to do so because of the pandemic, he got the invitation for an official visit to the country in 2021.

The President of Uzbekistan stated that he hopes that in 2021 PM Modi’s official visit to Uzbekistan will take place. He added that it will also be a historical event that will further strengthen the development of friendly relations between the two nations.

Development of partnership between India and Uzbekistan:

In 2011, both the countries declared their strategic partnership and dynamism to this partnership was imparted during PM Modi’s visit to Uzbekistan in 2015. President Shavkat Mirziyoyev’s first highly successful visit to India was in October 2018.

He also visited Gandhinagar on the personal invitation of PM Modi to participate in the vibrant Gujarat Summit in January 2019 which reflected the keenness to continuing the strategic partnership between both the nations.

In the recent years, there has been a significant intensification in the ties between both the nations, and one of the reasons is the high-level visits from both the sides.

The bilateral relations between India and Uzbekistan has now expanded which includes strategic and political issues, trade and investment, defence and security, agriculture, energy, education, S&T and people to people ties.

Bilateral trade between India and Uzbekistan:

The bilateral trade between both the countries is at about USD 247 million which is still well below the potential, however to increase, both the leaders have set a trade target of USD 1 billion.

Indian companies have also started looking positively at the Central Asian country with investments of about USD 61 million in the past few years, especially in pharmaceutical centres. As per the sources the Preferential Trade Agreement and Bilateral Investment Treaty are also under the advanced stages of negotiation.

Cooperation in Nuclear Energy:

In recent times, an important area of cooperation has been in civil nuclear energy. Both the nations have also concluded an agreement on a long- term purchase of Uranium by India. The agreement was signed in January 2019 during Vibrant Gujarat Summit.

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