New Delhi, Jan 15 (IANS) The pharmaceutical industry will be the core of ties between India and Uzbekistan as the Central Asian nation's President Shavkat Mirziyoyev visits India from January 18 to 20 for the Vibrant Gujarat Summit.
President Mirziyoyev's visit comes after the first ever India-Central Asia Dialogue in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, on Sunday.
"President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev attends Vibrant Gujarat international investment summit as a key guest of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 18-20," the Uzbek Embassy said in a statement on Monday.
"Uzbekistan becomes (the) first among Central Asian states to be a country partner of Vibrant Gujarat biennial event," it stated.
Economic liberalisation, rapid political reforms and encouragement of foreign direct investment make Uzbekistan an inviting destination for business and investment.
Indian companies are exploring investment opportunities in the pharmaceutical, textile, education, IT, tourism and other sectors in Uzbekistan, the Embassy statement said.
"To attract investments in the pharmaceutical sector, an Uzbek Indian Free Pharmaceutical Zone is being developed in the Andijan region," it stated.
Andijan is on the southeastern side of Uzbekistan near its border with Kyrgyzstan.
Pharmaceutical products, mechanical equipment, vehicles, service, optical instruments and equipment are India's major exports to Uzbekistan.
India imports fruit and vegetable products, services, fertilisers, juice products, extracts and lubricants.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj co-chaired the India-Central Asia Dialogue at Samarkand in Uzbekistan on Sunday that was also attended by the Foreign Ministers of Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan and the First Deputy Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan.
The meet sought to work collectively for peace and reconstruction efforts in war-ravaged Afghanistan.
India reiterated its support and commitment to peace, security and stability of Afghanistan; to promote inclusive Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled peace and reconciliation process and to assist in economic reconstruction of Afghanistan," she told the media after the Dialogue.
In recent times, India has increased its engagements with Central Asia, a region that is important for New Delhi in terms of energy security.