The two sides agree to constitute a Joint Working Group on hydrocarbons

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A delegation from GAIL (India) Ltd would visit Uzbekistan next month to explore the opportunities in construction of LPG plants, gas pipelines and gas processing facilities.

New Delhi, March 8

Uzbekistan has agreed to directly source a large number of products from India including cotton, yarn, grain, flour, mineral, fertilisers, polyethylene, liquid gas, raw silk and silk products, cable-conductor products, copper, zinc and the products of chemical industry.

This is indicated in the Protocol of the Sixth Session of the Inter-governmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technological cooperation between India and Uzbekistan, which was signed here on Wednesday.The Protocol was signed by Mr Jairam Ramesh, Minister of State for Commerce and Co-Chairman of the Commission from Indian side, and Dr Ashier Erkinovich Shaykhov, Minister of Foreign Economic Relations, Investments and Trade of the Republic of Uzbekistan and Co-chairman of the Commission from Uzbek side.

To expedite concrete proposals for Indian companies in mining of gold in Uzbekistan, the Uzbek side was requested to nominate their agency for signing the MoU with MMTC Ltd and National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) from Indian side. To tap the huge potential for cooperation in the oil and gas sector, the two sides agreed to the constitution of a Joint Working Group on hydrocarbons.

It was also decided that a delegation from GAIL (India) Ltd would visit Uzbekistan next month to explore the opportunities in construction of LPG plants, gas pipelines and gas processing facilities.

Earlier on Tuesday, the two countries resolved to build on their centuries-old cultural and trade relations by forging a mutually beneficial economic co-operation in their respective areas of strength encompassing information technology, oil and gas sector.

Addressing the sixth session of the inter-governmental commission on trade, economic, scientific and technological co-operation between India and Uzbekistan here Mr Jairam Ramesh, expressed satisfaction over the progress made in setting up of Indo-Uzbek IT Centre in the Tashkent University of Information Technology (TUIT) with a grant of Rs 3 crore.

Mr Ramesh told Dr Shaykhov that experts from C-DAC, Pune, are scheduled to arrive in Tashkent next month to install equipment and to conduct IT training courses. Eight faculty members from TUIT have already completed advanced IT training from C-DAC.

The Uzbek side offered to extend full co-operation for encouraging investment by Indian IT companies in Uzbekistan and to make Uzbekistan their base for further expansion into the Commonwealth of Independent countries. Mr Ramesh proposed that Indo-Uzbek IT Centre in Tashkent be named after Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and the Uzbek Minister welcomed this.

Visit to Uzbekistan

To facilitate bilateral trade, Mr Ramesh proposed that Indian businessmen intending to visit Uzbekistan be granted on visas on the basis of letters issued by the recognised Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Besides tapping the huge potential for co-operation in the oil and gas sectors, the two sides also resolved to concentrate on textiles (cotton and silk) and garments, pharmaceuticals and hospital equipment, healthcare, food processing, construction and industrial processing of minerals.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated March 9, 2006)
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