Uzbek Deputy PM Sukhrob Kholmurodov in his opening remarks at the 11th Uzbek-Indian commission named the ways to expand trade between Uzbekistan and India.
"Despite the steady growth in the trade volumes, which nearly doubled over the past five years, we must acknowledge that there is still enormous untapped potential ," he said.
In 2017, the trade turnover amounted to US$ 323.6 million, of which exports - US$ 32.5 million dollars, imports - US$ 291.1 million.
"Uzbekistan firms are ready to increase supplies to India of such strategic goods as uranium concentrate, non-ferrous and rare-earth metals, as well as cable and conductor products, polyethylene and polypropylene, chemical products, fertilizers, as well as fresh and processed fruits and vegetables," said Sukhrob Kholmuradov.
He expressed the opinion that the parties had the necessary reserves for a many fold increase in turnover and to elevate it to US$ 1 billion “in the near future."
"We are grateful to the Indian side for lifting the ban on import from Uzbekistan of cherries, nectarines, apricots, plums and almonds," he added. "Also, we are counting on the swift lifting of the ban on import of grapes, apples, melons, pomegranate and pepper".
While, Sukhrob Kholmurodov highlighted that high import rates restrain the supplies of Uzbek fruit and vegetable products to India. Thus, average duties for legumes are over 30%, apples - 55%, cherries, peaches, pears, grapes, melons, watermelons, pomegranate, persimmon - 40%.
"Therefore, we request that the Indian side review the possibility of reducing customs duties for Uzbek fruits and vegetables, as well as provide initial 50,000 ton quota for imports of the Uzbek mash" .
In addition, the Uzbek side proposed to India to form a working group to study the issue of preparing and signing a preferential trade agreement to boost the two-way trade.