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Afghanistan: meeting on a special ‘Made in Italy Plan for the Promotion of Technology Centres’

Within the context of the presence in post-2014 Afghanistan of an Italy increasingly committed to fostering economic growth as a fundamental component in the consolidation of the political and security transition, a coordination meeting was held at the foreign ministry in Rome with representatives of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Economic Development, the Agenzia ICE, Confindustria and sector business associations (Marmomacchine, Istituto Internazionale del Marmo, UCIMA and ACIMIT).

Taking its cue from the Memorandum on Economic Cooperation between Italy and Afghanistan signed in Rome in April 2011, the meeting’s objective was to trace a road map for the concrete implementation of a special “Made in Italy Plan for the Promotion of Technological Centres in Afghanistan” stipulated recently by Ministry of Economic Development and the ICE. The sectors Plan focuses, in particular, on three specific sectors – marble working, food product packaging and textile machinery – which are the Afghan economy’s most dynamic and financially promising, and in which Italy boasts a proven tradition of excellence.

Today’s meeting, therefore, launched an operational phase that will consist in the coming months of a series of technical missions – to be coordinated in situ by the Italian embassy in Kabul – that will lead to a series of initiatives and productive activities in those target sectors (technology and know-how transfers, opening of a technology centre for excellence in marble work and vocational training, incentives for women’s employment, business mission exchanges, and so forth).

Thanks to the foreign ministry’s impetus and linkage and coordination efforts, this morning’s road map confirms the Italian government’s role in the development of a sustainable growth model for Afghanistan, providing a framework of reference for encouraging investments in a country whose economy still relies heavily on international support while, at the same time, laying the foundations for a stronger trade relationship with Italy. It is through initiatives of this sort that Italy fulfils its pledge to remain in Afghanistan even after 2014.

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