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01/June/2023   Cooperation

ISRS Director Eldor Aripov: Italy acts as a reliable European partner for Uzbekistan, promoting the sustainable and stable development of the country

TASHKENT, June 1. /“Dunyo” IA/. A delegation from Uzbekistan headed by the Director of the Institute for Strategic and Regional Studies under the President of Uzbekistan (ISRS) Eldor Aripov took part in a round table on "Uzbekistan and Italy: new dimensions of cooperation", reports “Dunyo” IA correspondent.

The event is organized jointly with the Italian Society of International Organization, which is one of the country's leading analytical and research bodies working under the auspices of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

It was attended by representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ministries and departments, leading companies, universities and research institutes, as well as the Italian media.

A thorough exchange of views on the current state and prospects of Uzbek-Italian interaction in the political, economic, cultural and humanitarian spheres has taken place. The EU's cooperation with the Central Asian states was also discussed.

In his welcoming remarks at the event, Eldor Aripov stressed that since the beginning of independence, for more than thirty years, Italy has acted as a reliable European partner for Uzbekistan, promoting the sustainable and stable development of the country.

In this regard, according to Eldor Aripov, the New Uzbekistan Development Strategy and the tasks arising from the updated Constitution open up new prospects for deepening and expanding Uzbek-Italian relations.

Rome fully supports Uzbekistan's reforms.  Italian partners appreciate the consistent policy of strengthening democratic institutions in the country, liberalisation and diversification of the economy.

The experts noted that not only in Rome but also in the EU are observing with great interest the large-scale reforms in Uzbekistan, which prioritise, above all, the tasks of ensuring the well-being of the people.

Italy's ambassador to Tashkent, Agostino Pinna, said that since 2017, Uzbekistan has begun an impressive "reform turnaround". The new constitutional reform has laid even stronger foundations for a market economy: basic freedoms and guarantees for entrepreneurial activity are strengthened and protection of private property is enhanced.

According to Agostino Pinna, it is in this dynamic and consistently evolving paradigm that Italian-Uzbek relations flourish. For instance, in 2022 trade turnover grew by 32% to €535.4m, making Italy the third major European trading partner for Uzbekistan.

It was stressed that the interest of Italian business to Uzbekistan is reciprocal and steadily growing. In recent years the number of enterprises with Italian capital has doubled, embracing such new sectors as mining, metallurgy, petrochemical and electro-technical industry, production of building materials. As a result, the volume of Italian investments in the last four years has increased sevenfold, from USD 7.1 million to USD 49.6 million.

President of the Italian Society of International Organization Ricardo Sessa noted that "Uzbekistan and Italy are centuries-old friends." The two countries are linked by long-standing historical and civilizational ties. Modern Uzbekistan is considered a key country in the Central Asian policy of Rome. Sustainable internal stability, as well as creative regional policy of Tashkent, make Uzbekistan an important partner in the region.

According to him, thanks to the cardinal changes, Italy's strategic interest in cooperation with Uzbekistan is growing. As a result, there is an intensification of inter-parliamentary relations, contacts are dynamically expanding at the level of ministries and departments of Uzbekistan and Italy.

As a result of the round table, the parties reached an agreement on the further development of expert dialogue, the expansion of contacts between the analytical institutions of Uzbekistan and Italy.

In this vein, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Institute for Strategic and Regional Studies under the President of Uzbekistan and the Italian Society of International Organization.

The document provides for the establishment of cooperation and regular working contacts between the analytical centers of the two countries through joint research projects, organizing forums, seminars and round tables on issues of mutual interest.

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