Italian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Antonio Tajani, together with the Prime Minister of Albania, Edi Rama, presided today at the Farnesina the second meeting at political level of the Italy-Albania Joint Economic Committee. The meeting will also be attended by the Minister of Agriculture, Food Sovereignty and Forestry, Francesco Lollobrigida, the Minister of the Environment and Energy Security, Gilberto Pichetto Fratin, and the Undersecretary of State to the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, Tullio Ferrante – representing Italy – and by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Energy, Belinda Balluku, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Anila Denaj, the Minister of Economy and Finance, Ervin Mete, the Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and Business Climate, Delina Ibrahimaj, and the newly appointed Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Igli Hasani – representing Albania. “With this meeting, we intend to reaffirm the excellent state of relations between Rome and Tirana. We want to further strengthen cooperation with Albania, a strategic partner of Italy”, said Deputy Prime Minister Tajani, emphasising once again that the Western Balkans play a primary role in Italy’s foreign policy. Italy is the leading end market for Albanian goods and Albania’s first supplier. Trade between the two countries grew by more than 16 per cent in 2022, exceeding EUR 3.3 billion. “The already excellent economic relations can be further improved thanks also to the involvement of the private sector already conspicuously present in Albania in the form of SMEs. Italy achieves great results when it manages to team up with its partners. On this occasion, I would like to thank in particular Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, Ferrovie dello Stato, Terna, Fincantieri, Leonardo, ITA Airways”, said Tajani, “for their willingness to develop solid partnerships”. Efforts are to be geared towards the infrastructure, energy and agro-industry sectors. “We want to consolidate our relations with Albania by focusing on improving connectivity, the electricity grid and the agricultural supply chain. Italian know-how will contribute concretely to the Albanian Government’s development plans”, the Deputy Prime Minister concluded.