A Business Forum on Investment, Trade and Tourism Potential of Uzbekistan was organised by MVIRDC World Trade Center Mumbai in association with All India Association of Industries (AIAI) and the Embassy of Uzbekistan, followed by Business-to-Business meetings. Mr. Shagazatov Oybek Bakhodirovich, Vice Governor of Kashkadarya Region in Uzbekistan said, “I invite Indian companies to invest in the Kashkadarya Region of Uzbekistan and benefit from export opportunities to the 300 million consumer market of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and explore huge reserves of gold, oil & gas and other minerals, besides investment opportunities in pharmaceuticals, healthcare services, information technology, hotels, automobile, etc.”
Mr. Bakhodirovich said, “Kashkadarya Region is the leading producer of grains and meat. The region offers favourable agro-climatic condition for growing vegetables and fruits such as apple, peach, pomegranate, grapes, and watermelon, among others. It is also the largest producer of cotton and account for 80% of mineral production in Uzbekistan. The region holds tremendous potential in logistics sector as all cargo moving to the neighbouring countries in the South pass through this region. The government is considering to invite Indian companies to operate airport infrastructure.”
He said, “The region exports around 50,000 tonne of pepper to South East Asia. Pepper cultivators receive orders from Asian countries such as China.”
Mr. Ulugbek Yunusov, Deputy Governor of Namangan region in Uzbekistan remarked, “The Region of Namangan enjoys steady economic growth, favourable business climate, sound financial system, strong telecom infrastructure and investor-friendly policies. Government of Uzbekistan has given special policy framework to attract foreign direct investment in areas such as free economic zones (FEZs).”
Mr. Yunusov informed that his government is taking steps to transform the Namangan airport into an international hub for promoting trade and tourism. The local government is negotiating with the national government to secure authority to operate the airport, modernise and develop its infrastructure, allow foreign carriers to operate there and implement open sky policy in the aviation sector.
The Deputy Governor invited Indian companies to explore joint venture and cluster development opportunities in textile sector and agriculture sectors, as the country is a major importer of readymade garments and agro-commodities. He said, “Foreign investors can procure good quality cotton produced in Namangan.”
Mr. Yunusov said that the government of Uzbekistan offers incentives such as concessional land tax, property tax and other fiscal benefits for companies investing in these zones and exporting at least 25% of their output in the first year of operation.
He said, “The regional government has allocated 30,000 hectare land for domestic and foreign companies investing in hotels and other tourist infrastructure.”
H. E. Mr. Farhod Arziev, Ambassador of Uzbekistan in India remarked, “There is tremendous scope for promoting people-to-people contact, cultural exchange, education and tourism between Uzbekistan and India. Recently, India’s Amity University and Sharda University established their presence in Uzbekistan.”
H. E. Mr. Arziev further informed, “The Year of Uzbek Culture will be launched in India and The Year of Indian Culture will be observed in Uzbekistan from next year. Both countries are also implementing joint film projects.”
Mr. Vijay Kalantri, Honorary Consul General, Republic of Uzbekistan in Mumbai and Vice Chairman, MVIRDC World Trade Center Mumbai said, “We assure full support to the Government of Uzbekistan to increase this trade volume to USD 1 billion in the next two years. We are happy to note that Government of Uzbekistan has introduced e-visa for Indians free of cost.”
From (L-R): Mr. Shagazatov Oybek Bakhodirovich, Mr. Ulugbek Yunusov, Mr. Vijay Kalantri, H. E. Mr. Farhod Arziev, and Captain Mr. Somesh Batra.