New Delhi: India and Uzbekistan on Monday agreed to set up an expert group to carry out a joint feasibility study for a trade agreement to boost economic ties between the countries.
The two "sides agreed to constitute an expert group between India and Uzbekistan to conduct joint feasibility study and commence negotiations for India-Uzbekistan Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) by the end of 2018," a joint statement said.
Uzbekistan president Shavkat Mirziyoyev was in India for a two-day state visit. The statement was issued after the meeting of Mirziyoyev and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Under a PTA, two trading partners reduce or eliminate duties on certain number of goods traded between them to promote commercial ties.
The two leaders also emphasised on the need to further enhance efforts to achieve the target of bilateral trade of $1 billion by 2020.
"The sides agreed to work towards balancing the trade between the two sides by reducing the existing trade deficit," it said.
The bilateral trade between the countries stood at $235 million in 2017-18. It was $155.5 million in 2016-17. Both the countries decided to work closely to expand and diversify bilateral trade.
For this, the two countries agreed to have comprehensive discussions between the relevant ministries and agencies of the two countries, and to encourage their business communities, companies and enterprises to participate in exhibitions, trade fairs, business forums and other joint business activities.
To promote investments, the two leaders agreed to promote the establishment of long-term among interested companies and business community.
"The sides agreed to expand cooperation in the IT Sector. They expressed their readiness to explore possibilities of cooperation for opening of branches of Indian universities/institutions in the IT, tourism and hotel management sector in Uzbekistan," it said.
The Uzbek side expressed their interest for establishment of an IT park in Uzbekistan in cooperation with Indian IT companies.
Underlining the importance of food and nutrition security, the two sides resolved to enhance cooperation in agriculture and allied activities by way of exchange of technology in crop production, improved water use efficiency, plant quarantine, animal husbandry, food processing and enhanced agriculture and food trade.
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Updated Date: Oct 01, 2018 17:42:12 IST