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Undersecretary Scalfarotto at the Silk Road Forum in Tbilisi

The Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ivan Scalfarotto, attended the Silk Road Forum in Tbilisi, Georgia. The Forum hosted approximately 2,000 participants, including representatives of Governments, International Organisations, enterprises and civil society organisations and aimed to overview the trends in global trade and the opportunities to improve transport and energy networks along the New Silk Road. “Georgia is the natural venue for a Silk Road Forum and Italy, with the 6th largest trade surplus in the world, is a natural participant and terminus on the Silk Road, as it has always been” said Undersecretary Scalfarotto. He went on: “At a time in which international trade is facing unprecedented challenges, it is important to assure dialogue opportunities among States, but also between private companies and civil society organisations, in order to develop inclusive and effective solutions.” On the fringes of the Forum, the Undersecretary had a series of bilateral meetings with Georgian authorities, including with the Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure, Maya Tkitishvili, the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, Natela Turnava, and the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alexander Khvtisiashvili. The meetings reaffirmed the centrality of Italy’s political relations with Georgia, a friend and partner Country for Italy but also for the EU and NATO. The two Countries’ economic relations are especially important, with trade volumes on a constant uptrend (+30% over the last decade) and an increasingly qualified presence of Italian companies, especially in the Country’s infrastructure sector.