The Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Hon. Manlio Di Stefano ended his diplomatic mission to Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan today; the mission was to promote the country in Central Asia and renew bilateral relations with both countries.
Di Stefano discussed the great challenge of Eurasian connectivity and the recent ratification and upcoming entry into force of the Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (EPCA) between the European Union and Kazakhstan with Kazakh Deputy Foreign Minister, Roman Vassilenko. The Undersecretary then opened the first Italian-Kazakh Business Forum where the Kazakh world of public institutions and business was well represented; he also opened the fourth Week of Italian Cuisine in the World in Kazakhstan.
In Kyrgyzstan, the Undersecretary dealt with bilateral matters with Deputy Foreign Ministers Nuran Niyazaliyev and Azizbek Madmarov in addition to representatives of the Ministry of the Economy and the Chamber of Commerce. He also opened the weekly Mini-Dublin Group meeting for Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, coordinated by Italy, on the fight against drug trafficking. He met the Director of the Investment Promotion and Protection Agency, Adilbek Shumkarbek, and representatives of the Kyrgyz Ministry of the Economy and Chamber of Commerce to discuss the regulatory framework of investments in Kyrgyzstan.
The Undersecretary had the opportunity to meet the Italian community during both visits, and reminded them of the government’s solidarity with Italians who live abroad. Di Stefano said “I saw that there was great interest in working with Italy in the energy, agricultural and food, machinery, renewable energy and infrastructure industries. We have created the conditions to strengthen our presence and open doors for our companies, especially small and medium-sized enterprises that have excellent growth prospects in all the countries in the area. The Kyrgyz authorities informed me that they would soon open an Embassy in Rome, and confirm that their Foreign Minister, Chingiz Aidarbekov will attend the Italy-Central Asia Conference in December”.
On 13 December next, the Italy-Central Asia Conference will be held in Rome; it will bring political representatives from the five countries in Central Asia together with representatives from international financial institutions and the worlds of business, academia and culture at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation to discuss the interests of Italy in the region in view of its development of a national strategy with respect to Central Asia.