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India and Uzbekistan start Strategic Partnership
Joint Statement on Strategic Partnership between India
1. At the invitation of the Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh, His Excellency Islam Abduganievich Karimov, the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan paid a State visit to India on 17-18 May 2011. During the State visit, the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan held talks with Mrs. Pratibha Devisingh Patil, President of the Republic of India and with Dr.Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India. Mr. Hamid Ansari, Vice-President of India, Mr. S.M.Krishna, External Affairs Minister and Mrs. Sushma Swaraj, Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha called on President Islam A. Karimov.
2. The sides noted that the visit of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan to India was a welcome continuation of the tradition of regular exchange of high level visits between India and Uzbekistan and was testimony to the close historical and deep cultural ties between the two countries. The sides noted with satisfaction that the discussions took place in a warm and friendly atmosphere.
3. The sides reviewed the current status of the entire gamut of bilateral relations and exchanged views on important regional and international issues. They noted the similarity of their positions on bilateral, regional and global issues. The sides agreed that the Foreign Ministries of both countries would continue to hold regular consultations, including exchange of visits by their Ministers.
4. The sides noted with satisfaction that their relations serve their long term national interest and at the same time strengthen bilateral cooperation in accordance with the provisions of the UN Charter, the principles of mutual respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity and non-interference in internal affairs.
5. The sides noted that India and Uzbekistan have stakes in mutual progress and prosperity, and expressed their determination to imbue greater dynamism to the relationship through all-round cooperation and engagement. Both leaders declared that bilateral relations had been elevated to the level of a long term and strategic partnership based on equality and mutual understanding. This strategic partnership would encompass active cooperation in a wide spectrum of areas including political, economic, counter-terrorism, education, health, human resource development, science and technology, tourism and culture.
6. The sides noted with satisfaction the conclusion of bilateral documents during the visit on cooperation in a range of areas including Information Technology, Pharmaceuticals, Standardization, Small and Medium Enterprises, Coal gasification, Oil & Gas, Science &Technology;, Textiles and Banking.
7. The sides agreed that the current level of bilateral trade was below the existing potential and underlined the need for increasing the volume of mutual trade and expanding its range. They expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the 9th session of the India-Uzbek Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technical and Cultural Cooperation held on May 4-5, 2011 in Tashkent, and declared the necessity of enhancing bilateral trade, economic and investment cooperation in all areas of mutual interest.
8. The sides noted opportunities for further significant growth of volumes and diversification of the basket of mutual trade and agreed that the organization of trade fairs in the territories of the two states shall also contribute to the growth of mutual trade. They called upon their respective business communities to avail opportunities for mutually beneficial investments for implementation of major joint projects in promising sectors such as information technology and telecommunications ; pharmaceuticals and biotechnology; production of finished textile, silk and leather goods ; exploration and mining of hydrocarbons; production of household chemicals and plant protection chemicals ; and tourism.
9. The sides noted the importance of strengthening the financial infrastructure for promoting trade and investment. They welcomed in this context the MoU between the EXIM Bank of India and the National Bank of Uzbekistan, aimed at streamlining the flow of credit. They also welcomed the initialling of the Protocol amending the bilateral Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement which would help promote investment and cross-border movement of goods, services and technology between the two countries.
10. The Uzbek side welcomed the desire of Indian companies to expand investment cooperation in sectors with advanced industrial potential corresponding to international standards. The Uzbek side informed the Indian side of opportunities for investment in joint projects of mutual interest, in the Free Industrial-Economic Zone "Navoi", where unprecedented favourable conditions for foreign investors had been created. Both sides also noted the capacities of the transcontinental intermodal hub at Navoi airport as a transshipment transit point, which provided favourable terms of transportation of cargo to the countries of Europe, CIS, the Middle East and other regions. More than 40 flights in a week originated from this international hub to key transit centers of the world, including such industrial centers of India as Delhi and Mumbai.
11. The sides highlighted the absence of surface transport connectivity as one of the reasons for the low level of trade between the two countries. To resolve these connectivity problems, the sides discussed implementation of such projects as the Trans-Afghan corridor and the project to establish the Central Asia-Persian Gulf corridor. The implementation of these projects may considerably cut down the distance and costs for transportation of goods between Uzbekistan and India, as well as provide Afghanistan the opportunity to integrate into the regional system of transport connectivity. The sides agreed to continue their work in terms of looking for various options for surface connectivity between India and Uzbekistan.
12. The sides noted the prospects of scientific and technical cooperation between the scientific centers of the two countries on organization of joint researches in the spheres of biotechnology, material science, solar power, laser technologies, and automation of production process.
13. The sides noted the potential of information technology for the improvement of people's lives. The Uzbek side welcomed activities of the Jawaharlal Nehru Uzbek-Indian Centre for Information Technology in Tashkent and noted that the sides had enormous potential to promote cooperation in this sphere.
14. The sides agreed to intensify contacts between educational institutions of both countries and to increase cooperation in human resources development.
15. The sides stressed the need to further intensify cultural cooperation, which would contribute to strengthening ties between their peoples.
16. The sides resolutely condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and reaffirmed that international terrorism was a threat to global peace and security. It was noted with satisfaction that the fourth meeting of the Indo-Uzbek Joint Working Group on combating international terrorism (February 2011, New Delhi) discussed several issues of security and counter-terrorism including exchange of information, data, financing of terrorism and related matters. They emphasized the need for adoption of the "Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism" in the near future. The sides expressed the intention in this context to continue consultations between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and to coordinate their efforts within the framework of the JWG on Combating International Terrorism.
17. The sides discussed the continuing unstable situation in Afghanistan and the challenges emanating from the region, including drug trafficking, and reaffirmed the importance of early establishment of peace and stability in the country.
18. The sides expressed their strong commitment to multilateralism, with the United Nations playing a central role in dealing with global challenges and threats. They reaffirmed their commitment to the reform of the United Nations, particularly the Security Council, through its expansion in the permanent and non-permanent categories, with increased representation of developing countries in both, in order to improve its efficiency, representativeness, and legitimacy, and for it to better meet the contemporary challenges faced by the international community. The Uzbek side reiterated its support for India�s candidature for permanent membership of an expanded Security Council.
19. The Sides underscored the importance of further strengthening mutual cooperation in the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, taking into account the active participation of the sides in the activity of this Organization.
20. India welcomed the entry into force of the Nuclear Weapon Free Zone in Central Asia and was prepared to extend the necessary security assurances.
21. H.E. Mr. Islam Karimov, President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, expressed gratitude to the Indian leadership and to the peoples of India for the warm reception and hospitality accorded to him and to the Uzbekistan delegation during his State visit to the Republic of India. He invited Mrs. Pratibha Devisingh Patil, the President of the Republic of India, to visit the Republic of Uzbekistan. The President of Uzbekistan also invited Dr. Manmohan Singh, the Prime Minister of India, to visit Uzbekistan. The invitations were accepted with pleasure.
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