Italy and Uzbekistan they have elevated bilateral diplomatic relations to the rank of strategic partnership, thus strengthening cooperation in the political, economic and commercial, military, cultural and tourist fields. This is the main result of the Roman day of the Uzbek president Shavkat Mirziyoyev, who after being received at the Quirinale by the President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella went to Palazzo Chigi in the afternoon, where he was received by the Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni. The two adopted a joint declaration intended to raise the level of relations between Italy and the Central Asian country, starting with the establishment of a strategic dialogue which will be held once every two years and which will be co-chaired by the ministers of foreign affairs or by deputy ministers-designate to discuss bilateral relations and global and regional issues of common interest.
Among other things, the strategic partnership it will also involve a consolidation of relations in matters of defense and security and in the legal sphere, but above all in the economic and commercial fields. The parties have set themselves the goal of increasing the volume of trade "using the opportunities for exports from Uzbekistan to the European Union under the preferential Gsp+ system" and to increase the supply of advanced equipment and technologies from Italy for Uzbek industry. Priority sectors of economic cooperation, in particular, are considered energy, transport, tourism, infrastructure, medicine, pharmaceuticals, information technology, agriculture and metallurgy, production of building materials and electrical products, furniture, leather goods, textile and silk products , automobiles and spare parts, fruit and vegetable processing, wine production, animal husbandry, food production.
In addition to promoting the development of a periodic dialogue between the business associations of the two countries, including small and medium-sized enterprises, the two governments hope to encourage the transfer of Italian industrial technologies through the opening of training centers in Uzbekistan. Space is also given to cultural and humanitarian cooperation, to the promotion of cultural and artistic events, to the teaching and dissemination of the Italian and Uzbek languages. There is talk of cooperation between tourist organizations and regular direct flights between the two countries, of stimulating the implementation of joint programs and projects in the conservation of archaeological, artistic and cultural heritage, of scientific cooperation and exchanges between students and teachers.
Italy thus launches a signal of attention for a region, Central Asia, which with the redefinition of global distribution chains and international trade and energy routes seems destined to assume an increasingly central role in future global geopolitical balances. Uzbekistan, on the other hand, is counting on Rome to attract companies and the investments it needs to give impetus to its rapidly growing economy, but above all to strengthen ties with Europe in a historical phase in which Russia does not appear more able to project its influence on the Central Asian region.
"This historical event, without exaggeration, is the beginning of a new, important stage in the further development of cooperation between our countries," Mirziyoyev commented, according to the report of the Uzbek presidency. Meloni, for his part, expressed "full support" for the democratic and economic reforms being implemented in Uzbekistan, adding that he believes in their success. The two leaders defined the expansion of economic and commercial cooperation as a priority, noting how the volume of mutual trade and investment has doubled in recent years and how Italian companies have successfully conducted important industrial projects in the metallurgical, energy and electrotechnical sectors. Meloni and Mirziyoyev they also referred to the business forum hosted by Confindustria on 6 June, in the context of which agreements and contracts were signed for a total value of over 9 billion euro. According to the two leaders, important cooperation opportunities are now in the innovation and technology sector, but also in culture, in teaching the Italian language in Uzbekistan, in education and in tourism.
The need for was emphasized promote direct relations between the regions of the two countries. Meloni expressed his appreciation for Tashkent's efforts aimed at creating a climate of "good neighborliness and trust" in Central Asia and called for further development of the dialogue platform between Italy and the five countries of the region. The two leaders spoke about the situation in Afghanistan, underlining the importance of continuing to provide humanitarian aid to the local population, also using the Termiz logistics center in southern Uzbekistan. At the end of the meeting, Mirziyoyev invited Meloni to visit the Central Asian country, as he had previously done with Mattarella. Mirziyoyev, the first Uzbek president to pay an official visit to Italy since 2000, arrived in Rome yesterday evening and was welcomed at Fiumicino airport by Defense Minister Guido Crosetto, who had already met him at the end of last April during the of a mission in Tashkent. The business program of the visit, which will end tomorrow, will instead be in Milan: the president of Uzbekistan will be received by the president of the Lombardy Region, Attilio Fontana, and will participate in a round table with managers of important Italian companies.