Uzbekistan’s ambassador to India Farhod Arziev met Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Saturday and discussed cooperation in areas of mutual interest for the benefit of India and the Central Asian country.

An official spokesperson said Uzbekistan has expressed interest in furthering business and trade ties with Punjab, particularly in the areas of agriculture, education and tourism, amid the improving industrial climate in the north Indian state.

The CM suggested export of various commodities, including wheat and rice, to Uzbekistan, pointing out that the direct air connectivity between Uzbekistan and Amritsar offered vast potential for trade promotion.

Farhod Arziev said Uzbekistan was also keen to utilise the air route to further bolster trade in fresh fruits, such as mulberry, apricot and peaches, as well as dry fruits that were organically produced in his country, added the official spokesperson.

Passenger and cargo flights from Chennai to Uzbekistan could also be used to exploit the trade potential, said the envoy, also inviting Punjab to see the cotton plantations in his country, as they were keen to export cotton to India, said the spokesperson.

A suggestion was made during the meeting by Finance Minister Manpreet Badal to host exchange programmes for students from Punjab Agriculture University (PAU), which the CM endorsed.

Amarinder asked his officials to explore the possibility of knowledge sharing and transfer of agricultural technology, in coordination with the Uzbek embassy, added the spokesperson.