On January 27 President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev took part in the first “India – Central Asia” summit held via videoconferencing.
The President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, the President of the Kyrgyz Republic Sadyr Japarov, the President of Tajikistan Emomali Rakhmon and the President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimukhamedov attended the event, organized at the initiative of the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi.
The Leaders discussed the opportunities of further development of historically close and friendly relations, as well as growing multidimensional collaboration between the region’s countries and India. A discussion on current international political issues took place.
At the beginning of his speech the President of Uzbekistan has emphasized the significance of this meeting in enhancing the strategic partnerships and creating a new agenda for long-term regional cooperation.
The deep historical roots that bind our countries and peoples provide such a solid foundation for this. Thus, for thousands of years, the region and India have had strong humanitarian exchanges and commercial relations, resulting in mutual enrichment of culture, customs and spiritual values.
The President set strategic priorities and proposed specific proposals to develop practical collaboration between India and Central Asia.
The development of human capital through dynamic interactions in the areas of education and healthcare based on the implementation of Indian best practices, information, and technologies, is the prime objective.
The modern multidisciplinary medical centers, created in recent years in cooperation with Indian partners in our country serve as an example. Along with this, expansion of the network of such clinics will be carried out at the Uzbek branches of India’s leading medical institutes.
The President proposed to implement pharmaceutical investment projects, accelerate mutual acceptance of vaccination certificates, organize virologist training programs, and increase utilization of traditional medical methods. It is suggested that if the Mutual Health Forum were held annually, it would support these initiatives.
In the realm of education, branches of three major Indian universities are effectively operating in our country, projects to develop international schools are being launched and the Indian way of language learning is being adopted.
The President recommended developing a “road map” focusing on the formation of new universities and professional education centers, the establishment of scientific and academic exchanges and encouraging the innovative developments and start-ups.
The significant opportunities for partnerships in the digital world were separately emphasized. As one of the global leaders in digitization, India contributes significantly to the growth of the domestic IT industry.
A proposal has been made to implement a regional cooperation program for the development of digital innovations, fintech and block chain technologies, cybersecurity and training, including the use of existing platforms.
The President recommended defining the strengthening of economic partnerships as the second most significant strategic objective.
Over the recent years, the bilateral trade between Uzbekistan and India has almost doubled, the number of mutual enterprises increased to 400. The large investment projects are being implemented and cooperation between Andijan Region and the state of Gujarat is prospering.
The need to revitalize the activities of the India-Central Asia Business Council was emphasized to encourage direct relationships at the level of business and regions, find new points of growth in the investment and trade.
The President of Uzbekistan has stressed the need for good transportation connections among the countries of the region and the development of modern infrastructure.
A proposal to create a mechanism for multilateral meetings of transport ministers to devise a program for the development of “dry” ports network, offer discounts and preferential fares, and ease customs regulations for cargo transportation was supported.
The study of India’s best practices and the partnership working in the sphere of energy efficiency and “green” development is receiving a lot of attention. It was proposed to discuss regional cooperation issues in this area during the International Forum in Aral Sea Region in September this year.
The cultural and humanitarian spheres were chosen as the third focus area. The need for a cooperative mutual program that includes museum collaboration, exhibitions and conferences, the digitization of manuscript materials and the construction of a virtual library and the research of shared historical and archaeological resources were noted.
It was proposed to organize the festivals of Indian culture and cinema throughout the countries of the regions in the year of the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations with India.
President Shavkat Mirziyoyev has specifically noted the worsening situation in Afghanistan. The significance of implementing strategies to maintain peace and security, avoid the aggravation in humanitarian sphere, and support the large infrastructure projects was highlighted.
In his address, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev has congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the friendly people of India on the Republic Day and the upcoming 75th anniversary of country’s independence.
In their addresses other delegation leaders have emphasized the numerous opportunities for expanding partnerships and regional interaction, particularly in the trade, investments, innovation, transportation, infrastructure, industry, agriculture, culture and tourism.
The summit resulted in the adoption of the Delhi Declaration, which defines shared approaches to the key issues of further developing friendship and multifaceted cooperation between the Central Asian and Indian states.