Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Antonio Tajani, is on an official mission to China and Kazakhstan. The visit starts today, Sunday 3 September, and ends on Tuesday 5 September.
The first part of the mission is devoted to numerous cultural events, testifying to the crucial role of this aspect in the bilateral relationship with Beijing. Important institutional meetings will be held tomorrow, Monday 4 September.
Deputy Prime Minister Tajani and his counterpart, Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi, will co-chair the 11th plenary session of the Italy-China Intergovernmental Committee, the first to be held since 2020. Furthermore, bilateral meetings will be held with Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi and Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao.
The visit will focus on relaunching bilateral dialogue in areas of common interest, in the framework of the Global Strategic Partnership established in 2004 by President Berlusconi and the then Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.
With a trade worth EUR 34 billion in the first half of 2023, China is Italy’s leading trading partner in Asia and is of primary importance for Italian companies and products. “The Italian Government is committed to restoring the trade balance with China, also in order to improve the access conditions to the Chinese market,” said Tajani.
The meetings will focus on the main international policy issues, starting with Beijing’s role in fostering a peaceful end to the war in Ukraine. Also, questions such as the delicate balance in the Sahel region, EU-China relations, and G20 and UN cooperation will be widely discussed.
On 5 September, Tajani will travel from Beijing to Astana, where he will meet the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Toqaev and the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Nurtleu. “Italy is looking at Central Asia with growing interest, also due to the consequences of the war in Ukraine,” said Tajani, adding that “it is a priority for Italy to establish a strategic partnership with those countries and to seize the great opportunities offered by Kazakhstan to our companies.” During his visit to Astana, the Deputy Prime Minister will inaugurate the new premises of the Italian Embassy.