Tashkent, 10 November 2023 (TDI): Italian President Sergio Mattarella will pay an official visit to Uzbekistan on 9-11 November at the invitation of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev.

Italy is an important and reliable partner of Uzbekistan. Diplomatic relations between the two countries were established on 24 March 1992.

The official visit of Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev to Italy on 8-9 June this year marked the beginning of a new stage in the development of Uzbek-Italian multifaceted cooperation.

During the visit, the head of our state met with Italian President Sergio Mattarella, Chairman of the Council of Ministers Giorgio Meloni, representatives of business circles and regions of this country.

The visit resulted in the adoption of the Joint Declaration on the establishment of relations of strategic partnership between the two countries and the signing of 11 interstate, intergovernmental and interdepartmental documents. The adoption of these documents has given a powerful impetus to bilateral interaction in politics, security, economy, energy, cultural and humanitarian spheres.

Uzbekistan and Italy have successfully interacted within the framework of international organizations such as the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and others.

Italy supports Uzbekistan’s efforts to strengthen the atmosphere of partnership, good-neighborliness and trust in Central Asia, and has also advocated further development of the format of cooperation “Italy-Central Asia”.

To date, all the necessary institutional mechanisms for coordinating cooperation between the two States have been established and are working successfully.

Political consultations are regularly held between the foreign ministries of the two countries to discuss topical issues of bilateral cooperation. The Intergovernmental Working Group on Trade, Economic and Industrial Co-operation and Export Credits operates.

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Inter-parliamentary ties have been steadily developing: since 2011, the Oliy Majlis has had parliamentary groups of the Senate and the Legislative Chamber in cooperation with the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies of the Italian Parliament.

Parliamentarians also maintain contacts within the framework of the « Italy-Central Asia» friendship group established in April this year.

Interdepartmental and interregional cooperation is gaining new momentum.

The high mutual interest of Uzbekistan and Italy in deepening relations determines the current dynamics of trade and economic ties and investment interaction.

The interest of Italian investors in Uzbekistan has been confirmed by the joint business forum held on the eve of the June visit of the head of our state with the participation of about 300 representatives of business circles of the two countries, as well as the «round table» held in Milan with the participation of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev and heads of major companies of this country.

The business forum resulted in the conclusion of investment and trade agreements worth over 9 billion euros, which envisage the implementation of cooperation projects in the energy, gas chemical and oil and gas industries, metallurgy, chemical, textile industries and agriculture.

Today in our country 52 enterprises with participation of Italian capital are operating, including 33 joint ventures and 19 enterprises with 100 percent Italian capital. The Ministry of Investment and Industry of Uzbekistan has accredited offices of six Italian companies, as well as the Chamber of Commerce “Italy-Uzbekistan”.

The main spheres of their activity are production of saffron, soft drinks, wines, bottle fittings, perfumes, ice-cream, knitted goods, consumer goods, processing of cotton waste, trade and intermediary services.

In trade between Uzbekistan and Italy the most-favored-nation regime is in force. For 9 months of the current year, bilateral trade turnover totalled almost 390 million US dollars.

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Interregional cooperation between entrepreneurs of the two countries is expanding, in particular, a programme has been developed between the Tashkent region and the Italian region of Lombardy, which envisages the implementation of joint projects in the field of communal infrastructure, chemical, industrial, agricultural and other spheres.

“Uzbekistan is a bridge between Europe and Asia, a country strategic in terms of partnership, with huge potential. We want to be involved in Uzbekistan’s modern development and are ready to deepen our multilateral relations. Entrepreneurs are ready to cooperate, offering advanced technologies, high quality final products.

We will provide support to realize the full potential of bilateral interaction,” – Italian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Edmondo Cirielli said, speaking at a business forum in June this year.

In turn, today Uzbekistan is ready to provide Italian businesses with broad support measures and an effective platform for their activities in our country.

Cultural and humanitarian ties and friendly relations between the peoples of the two countries, which have deep historical roots, play an important role in the development of multifaceted Uzbek-Italian cooperation.

Cultural exchanges and active trade took place between Rome and Maverannahr in the times of the Great Silk Road. During excavations in our country, artifacts with Roman roots were discovered. Thus, hundreds of silver coins from the times of Emperors Trajan and Marcus Aurelius, remains of elegant marble sculptures and gemma intaglios with images of Roman gods were found in the territory of Old Termez.

In addition to trade links, diplomatic relations developed between the Mediterranean and Central Asian regions. Kushan, Khorezmian and Turkic embassies visited Rome on several occasions. At the same time, the greatest flourishing of relations occurred during the reign of Amir Temur. Moreover, Venetian merchants who traveled to the East on an expedition praised in their histories the beauty and splendor of Bukhara and Samarkand.

Today, scholars from the two countries are studying the history and heritage of these cultures and exchanging experience and research results. One of the results of such work has been the publication, in cooperation with the University of Naples and La Sapienza University of Rome, of a book entitled “The Cultural Heritage of Uzbekistan in the Collections of Italy”.

On 8 June this year, during the official visit of the head of our state to Italy, an intergovernmental agreement on cultural and scientific cooperation between our two countries was signed, defining further prospects and new directions of interaction in these spheres. During the visit, a new programme of cultural exchange between our countries for the period until 2026 was also signed.

Over the past years, Uzbekistan and Italy have already achieved certain results in the development of cooperation in education, tourism, culture and art, sports and archaeology.

Today, university courses teaching the Italian language are actively operating in our country. Two branches of Italian universities – the Turin Polytechnic University and the branch of the University of Pisa in Tashkent, which together have more than 700 students, are carrying out their activities.

Partnerships are being developed with Italian institutions of higher education through the “Erasmus+” program. Relations between Rome and Tashkent have also covered the sphere of innovation and youth entrepreneurship. The possibility of launching a joint program to support start-ups among young people in Uzbekistan is under consideration.

The Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan and the National Research Council of Italy have been consistently increasing interaction within the framework of the cooperation agreement signed in 2021.

For the third year in a row, the National Pavilion of Uzbekistan has been a great success among Italian and foreign guests of the International Biennale in Venice.

Tourist exchange has been steadily intensified: in 2022, about 9 thousand Italian tourists visited Uzbekistan. Today Italy is among the five European countries whose tourists actively visit Uzbekistan.

Thus, the level of mutual understanding and partnership achieved to date between Uzbekistan and Italy is a solid foundation for the successful continuation of political, economic and cultural dialogue and the beginning of a new renaissance in the development of Uzbek-Italian cooperation.

In this context, the forthcoming visit to Uzbekistan by President of Italy Sergio Mattarella will give another powerful impetus to this process and will be a vivid confirmation of the commitment of the two sides to the comprehensive expansion and deepening of lasting friendship and strategic partnership.

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