Relations between Uzbekistan and India have their roots deep in history. There are frequent references to Kamboja in Sanskrit and Pali literature, which is stated to include parts of present day Uzbekistan.Sakas participated in Mahabharata on the side of Kauravas. Ancient trade route uttarpath passed through Uzbekistan. In later years, Fergana, Samarkand, Bukhara in Uzbekistan emerged as major towns on the trade routes linking India with Europe and China. At various times the Saka / Scythian, Macedonian, Greco-Bactrian, Kushan Kingdoms included parts of both India and present day Uzbekistan, and at other times they were part of neighbouring empires. Buddhism is said to have travelled to China through Uzbekistan and Central Asia. Amir Timur was born near Shahrisabz and Babur came from Fergana in Uzbekistan. Indian merchants based in Samarkand and Bukhara were an integral part of local economy. Interactions over thousands of years contributed to close cultural linkages in architecture, dance, music and cuisine. Mirza Ghalib and Amir Khusro are notable Indians of Uzbek parentage. Indian movies have traditionally been popular in Uzbekistan.
India had close interaction with the Uzbek SSR during the Soviet times. Indian leaders often visited Tashkent and other places. Prime Minister, Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri passed away in Tashkent on 11 July 1966 after signing the Tashkent declaration with Pakistan
In August 1991, as the events leading to the disintegration of the USSR unfolded, President Islam Karimov, in his then capacity as Chairman of Supreme Soviet of Uzbekistan, was visiting India. Uzbekistan declared its independence on 1st September 1991.
Consulate General of India in Tashkent was formally inaugurated on 7th April 1987. Following Uzbekistan’s independence, it was upgraded to the level of Embassy through the signing of a Protocol on Diplomatic and Consular matters on 18th March 1992.
The subsequent period has been characterized by frequent high-level exchanges. Prime Minister Narasimha Rao visited Uzbekistan in 1993 and Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on 25-26 April, 2006. President Karimov paid State visits to India in 1994, 2000, 2005 and in May 2011.
On 06-07 July 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Tashkent.
Bilateral relations are managed through a robust mechanism including an Intergovernmental Commission, which oversees trade and economic relations. Uzbekistan and India have signed Agreements/MOUs/Protocols/Joint Statements in areas such as trade, investment, education, civil aviation, tourism, science & technology, telecommunications, agriculture and IT.
Trade relations between India and Uzbekistan are governed by the Agreement on Trade and Economic Cooperation signed in May 1993. The Agreement provides for such things as mutual MFN treatment, promotion of economic, industrial, scientific and technical cooperation, including in the field of training of personnel, active participation of small and medium sized enterprises in bilateral economic cooperation, and counter-trade, etc. India and Uzbekistan also signed an Agreement on Avoidance of Double Taxation in 1993 and for Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection in May 1999. The Inter-Governmental Commission (IGC) on Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technological Cooperation has met ten times, and the last Session was held in New Delhi on 04-05 March 2014.
(i) India’s trade with Uzbekistan year-wise:
|Year||Imports from India(in US$ million)||Exports to India(in US$ million)||Total trade turnover(in US$ million)|
Source : State Statistics Committee of Uzbekistan
India’s export : Pharmaceutical products, mechanical equipments, vehicles, service, optical instruments and equipments
India’s import : Fruit and vegetable products, service, fertilizers, juice products, extracts and lubricants.
According to the State Statistics Committee, India’s share during 2015 in the total volume of exports of Uzbekistan constituted 0.5% and occupied 17th place among countries that are trading partners of Uzbekistan, and for imports constituted 2.1% (10th place).
The India-Uzbekistan Centre for Information Technology, named after Jawaharlal Nehru, was inaugurated by Prime Minister during his visit to Uzbekistan in April 2006 in the Tashkent University of Information Technology (TUIT). The Centre is imparting training to students/government officials.