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23/August/2020   Economic Diplomacy

The Week.in: World-famous melons from Uzbekistan will soon be available in India thanks to 'Fruit diplomacy'


DELHI, August 23. / IA "Dunyo"/. The electronic edition of The Week.in published an article " Fruit diplomacy: The perks of having a dedicated air corridor to Central Asia". The material was published on the basis of the webinar on the topic: "The air corridor between India and the countries of Central Asia will allow to intensify trade and economic ties", which took place on August 21, reports “Dunyo” IA correspondent.

The author of the article, journalist Mandira Nayar recalls that Zahiriddin Muhammad Bobur wrote in his work "Baburnama" that " Sweet as honey, thick and juicy, nothing compared with the melons from my Motherland."

“India can export vegetables and fruits in order to develop ties with Central Asia. And famed melons from Uzbekistan will soon be available in India, courtesy a little diplomacy by fruit,” writes The Week.in.

The Indian is seriously exploring a dedicated air corridor to Central Asia to exploit the potential of the perishable. “The need is sorely felt [of an air corridor],’’ said Manish Prabhat, Joint Secretary Eurasia Division, Ministry of External Affairs. He made the remarks at the webinar ‘The Way Forward for Developing India-Central Asia Air Corridor.’

The Indian Ministry of Agriculture has allowed Uzbekistan to export its famed lemons and melons. In return, India will supply the "king of fruits" - mangoes, as well as bananas.

This is not the first time that India has used "power of fruit" to bring ties closer. The Afghan-India relationship was built on the strength of the dry fruits and now apricots that Afghanistan produces. The air corridor between India and Afghanistan is part of the confidence-building measures between bоth countries and has been a success. This summer, Afghan apricots and cherries found their way into Indian markets and homes.

The idea of creating a special air corridor for Central Asia earlier this year was put forward by Indian Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar during a meeting of the India-Central Asia Business Council. Only during a pandemic, in the face of limited opportunities for other modes of transport, the potential of the air corridor really became apparent. India has used this period to expand its agricultural exports, which have increased by 23%.

Improving transport links with Central Asia is one of the priorities of India's foreign policy. The Chabahar port, whose infrastructure is being developed by India, is part of this vision. While the potential of Chabahar can positively influence the development of the region's economy, the air corridor can open up new opportunities for interested parties.

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