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Turkmenistan and Italy Expand Transport Cooperation

A Turkmen delegation led by the Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan, Rashid Meredov visited Italy on March 20th for negotiations with the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy Antonio Tajani. The foreign ministers discussed bilateral relations in political, diplomatic, trade, economic, cultural and humanitarian sectors. The Turkmen Foreign Minister also held talks with the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Infrastructure and Transport of Italy, Matteo Salvini and top representatives of the Italian transport sector. The parties discussed expanding cooperation in the field of railway and maritime transport, and signed a Memorandum of Cooperation between the ports of Turkmenbashy (Turkmenistan) and Naples (Italy).

Kazakhstan to Satisfy Italy’s Appetite for Horsemeat

The Kazakh Minister of Trade and Integration Arman Shakkaliev has announced plans by Kazakhstan and Italy to create a joint product brand 'Made in Kazakhstan'. The venture aims to address Italy's growing demand for horsemeat; a commodity currently imported from other countries and reportedly valued at over $140 million worth per year. In addition to chilled horsemeat, the minister reported that 'Made in Kazakhstan' would also supply Italy with locally sourced caviar and honey. The initiative will benefit both countries. For Italy, it represents a fresh source of high-quality meat for the country's economically significant restaurant sector, and for Kazakhstan, open up a new market which by promoting agricultural development, will contribute to economical growth, especially in rural communities. Kazakhstan is currently a major supplier of horsemeat to countries such as Mongolia, Argentina and Uruguay.

Italy Proposes Project To Mitigate Climate Change Consequences In Aral Sea

On January 24th Italy’s deputy minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation, Edmondo Cirielli, and deputy minister for the environment and energy security, Vannia Gava, held a meeting with the ambassadors of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan in Italy.  At the meeting, the top management of SOGESID SPA, an engineering and specialized technical support company wholly owned by the Italian state, presented a project proposal to mitigate the consequences of climate change in the Aral Sea, an area of Central Asia at high risk of desertification. The project idea, which envisages targeted interventions for the integrated environmental regeneration of the Aral Sea basin, also falls within the framework of the Italian presidency of the EU-Central Asia High-Level Conference on Environment and Water, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said.  During the meeting, it was also proposed to consider the involvement of the Italian Climate Fund, the main national public instrument for pursuing the objectives undertaken by Italy in the context of international agreements on climate and environment. The meeting also discussed issues of content for the upcoming meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs in the “Italy + Central Asia” format, which will be held in 2024 in Rome, the Kyrgyz Foreign Ministry said. 

Kazakhstan President Tokayev Makes First Visit to Vatican

During his visit to Italy last week, Kazakhstan’s president Kassym-Jomart Tokayev made his first official visit to the Holy See at the invitation of Pope Francis. During the meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican on January 19th, Tokayev expressed gratitude to the Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church for his tireless efforts to serve humanity around the world, Tokayev’s press service reported. “Your prayer for peace instilled aspiration and new hope not only in the hearts and minds of thousands of Catholics, but of many of our fellow citizens of other religions. Today, multiethnic and multiconfessional Kazakhstan, which has been historically located at the crossroads of various civilizations, is a proud home to the largest Catholic community in Central Asia,” said Tokayev. “We have managed to form our own model of peace and national dialogue, based on the principles of ‘unity-in-diversity’. People of various faiths have their places of worship in Kazakhstan. Fostering religious freedom is an integral part of my presidential agenda,” the Kazakh leader emphasized. Tokayev stressed that “We should all come together as one, despite our differences, in order to preach and practice peace, facilitate an ongoing dialogue across cultures and religions, and to drive forward development for the benefit of people of all faiths.” The Pontiff thanked Tokayev for his contribution to peace and harmony. The Kazakh president also met with Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, the Vatican’s Secretary for Relations with States and International Organizations. The Holy See’s press office said that during the meetings with president Tokayev, appreciation was expressed for the good relations between the Holy See and Kazakhstan, with particular reference to mutual collaboration in the sphere of interreligious dialogue. Regional and international themes were also discussed, with special attention to conflicts and humanitarian issues. Pope Francis visited Kazakhstan in September 2022, when he took part in the Congress of the Leaders of World and Traditional Religions held in Astana. This Congress is held in the Kazakh capital every three years, functioning as a permanent international interfaith platform for dialogue between religions.

Italian Agricultural Holding Enters Kazakhstan Market

The Italian holding Bonifiche Ferraresi, which produces and markets agricultural products, has signed a memorandum of cooperation with Kazakhstan’s Agrofirm TNK. This was the result of negotiations between the Kazakh minister for agriculture, Aidarbek Saparov, and the management of Bonifiche Ferraresi in Rome last week, the Kazakh Ministry of Agriculture reported. Agrofirm TNK produces agricultural products on 400,000 hectares of land in the Akmola region, northern Kazakhstan. At the first stage of their partnership, the Italian and Kazakh companies intend to exchange experience regarding technology, seeds, and employee training. At the next stage they plan to develop processing, including pasta production. Forty enterprises currently produce pasta in Kazakhstan, the largest of which use durum wheat flour as a raw material, which has a high content of protein and iron. Traditional Italian pasta is made from this type of flour. “Kazakhstan has every opportunity to increase pasta production and exports, since it has its own raw material base. In 2022, Kazakhstan produced 15.6 million tons of soft wheat and 833 thousand tons of durum wheat, of which about 400,000 tons were exported to Italy, which is enough to increase the volume of pasta production, including in order to expand exports,” Mr Saparov said during the negotiations. The minister also told the Italian partners about the favorable investment climate in Kazakhstan, pointing out that investors can directly enter into an investment agreement with the Kazakh government to implement large investment projects, and receive certain benefits and preferences.

Uzbekistan, Italy to set up industrial park for silk manufacture

TASHKENT (TCA) — The Uzbekipaksanoat (Uzbek Silk Industry) Association and the Italian Silk Association have agreed on the establishment of an Italian industrial park in Uzbekistan, the Jahon information agency reported. The park will house companies specializing in the processing of cocoons, the manufacture of silk products, as well as equipment and necessary components. The parties have already agreed on the creation of the first joint venture to produce finished goods from silk. The emergence of the park, according to experts, will increase the export of silk products to the European Union, as well as enter new markets in European countries. In addition, the association is negotiating with Turkish textile companies to produce new goods – silk carpets and the painting of silk fabrics. Within the framework of the program of measures on integrated development of the silk industry until 2021, approved by the Uzbek government, about 30 mills for the processing of cocoons are currently being modernized in the country. Also, work is underway to organize 11 new specialized enterprises for deep processing of silkworm cocoons worth $83.2 million, most of which are planned to be commissioned this year. As part of the modernization, agreements were signed for the purchase of new equipment from such well-known companies as Van De Wiele, Picanol and Reggiani. As a result, it is planned to double the production of raw silk in three years and increase the figure to 3 thousand tons per year, and also through the deep processing of raw materials to increase the production of silk fabrics eightfold, reaching 11.2 million linear meters per year. Back in 2016, the extent of the use of production capacities of silk-processing enterprises in Uzbekistan was only 17%, and in 2017 it reached 54%. In 2016, products for $20.9 million were exported, and last year the figure reached $37.7 million. Today, Uzbek enterprises produce four types of goods: raw silk, silk wool, silk fabric and finished silk products, while last year the manufacturing process was concentrated on raw silk alone. By 2021, it is planned to establish production and export of at least five types of silk goods.

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