Today, the Italian Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Edmondo Cirielli, opened the Italy-Uzbekistan Business Forum, an event organised at the headquarters of Confindustria by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in collaboration with the Italian Trade Agency – ICE and Confindustria. The event was attended by over 90 Uzbek companies and 215 Italian companies and business associations.
In addition to Deputy Minister Cirielli, the Minister of Investment, Industry and Trade of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Laziz Kudratov, the Ambassador of Italy to Uzbekistan, Agostino Pinna, and the Ambassador of Uzbekistan to Italy, Otabek Akbarov, spoke at the opening institutional session.
The event, which was planned in anticipation of the forthcoming state visit to Italy of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev, provided an opportunity for a bilateral, wide-ranging discussion on the prospects for commercial, industrial and investment cooperation between the two countries, with a particular focus on the energy, infrastructure and transport, agribusiness and industrial technology sectors. The initiative aims at further strengthening Italy’s economic relations with Uzbekistan, the most populated country in the region, whose GDP has been growing steadily since 1996. The trade interchange grew by 32% compared to the previous year (reaching EUR 535.4 million) with Italian exports playing a predominant role, making Italy the Central Asian country’s 2nd European trading partner in 2022.
As stated by Deputy Minister Cirielli, “Relations between the two countries are excellent and will undoubtedly receive a further strong boost from President Mirziyoyev’s imminent visit. Since the Italian government took office, there have been frequent occasions for high-level meetings between the representatives of our countries – most recently, Deputy Prime President Tajani’s meeting with his counterpart Saidov, Minister Crosetto’s visit to Uzbekistan, and my meeting with Minister Kudratov a few days ago. Such a revival of relations”, continued the Deputy Minister, “has been supported by the positive trend in trade, which has reached over EUR 500 million for the first time in 2022, and by a growing number of Italian companies with stable interests in the Uzbekistan market, which is establishing itself as a strategic platform for our entrepreneurial system in Central Asia”.