Italy aims at consolidating partnership with Central Asia

Italy aims at consolidating partnership with Central Asia

Rome hosted the Italy and Central Asia Conference entitled “Strengthening mutual understanding, cooperation and partnership”. The event was organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI).

The conference was attended by the ministers of foreign affairs of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, deputy foreign minister of Kazakhstan. Turkmenistan was represented by deputy foreign minister Vepa Hajiyev.

The event also brought together high representatives of EU, EBRD, ADB, World Bank, ECO CAREC.

The Italian side was represented by the high officials of foreign ministry, ministry for environment, CEOs of export-credit agency SACE, Italian Trade Agency, technical consulting and engineering group Cesi SpA, engineering company Italferr and others.

– Italy represents a “solid and reliable” partner for Central Asia, thanks to its “long industrial tradition and exceptional manufacturing capacity, stressed foreign minister of Italy Luigi Di Maio, welcoming the conference.

-Today’s event crowns the intense action carried out by Italy to relaunch high-level political dialogue with each of the five countries in the region: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, he noted, saying that Central Asian countries are in a very positive phase.

– Economic relations are the backbone of our relations, Di Maio mentioned. This is evidenced from statistics. The trade with the countries of the region in 2018 grew by 25% and 28% during the period of January-September 2019.

Italian minister also said that Italian companies see Central Asia as the “main region for the investment prospects of the next two years”. He expressed the readiness of his country to contribute to the development of connectivity infrastructure in Central Asia, which will favor the integration process in the region.

-Italy looks with growing attention to the Central Asian region, a geopolitical and geo-economic strategic area. We are witnessing two years of intense economic growth and development of positive dynamics in the region, with a progressive consolidation of political dialogue and integration processes, – said undersecretary Manlio Di Stefano, moderator of the conference. He also said that Italy supports these positive dynamics.

Central Asia has geopolitical and economic capital, which should grow in the coming years, including through initiatives being developed to connect Europe and Asia. The new EU Strategy for Central Asia promotes a comprehensive partnership and the conference in Rome reaffirmed that Italy actively supports this process.

The agenda of forum in Rome included such themes as strategic role of Central Asia in 21st century, Italy’s role within priority fields of development in Central Asia and regional perspectives.

In early November this year Rome hosted the Turkmen-Italian summit talks, which resulted in the signing of set of documents designed to diversify bilateral cooperation.