On 27 April 2020, the Uzbek Deputy PM/Minister of Investment and Foreign Trade Sardor Umurzakov held a video conference with the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Luigi Di Maio and discussed a wide range of investment, trade, economic, financial and technical cooperation between the two countries, the Uzbek ministry said.
The parties noted the similar position on the need to increase the volume of investments and to speed up agreeing of an updated Agreement on mutual promotion and protection of investments between the Governments of the two countries and commended the potential of industrial cooperation between manufacturers which creates opportunities for successful partnership in a number of sectors of the economy, including agriculture and processing of fruits and vegetables, construction materials, furniture, leather textile and silk products, automotive, metallurgy, energy, medicine, winemaking.
In this context, a proposal was voiced to open a representative office of the Confederation of Italian Industrial Enterprises - Confindustria in Uzbekistan, which will provide practical support to investors and businesses of the two countries in implementing projects.
The prospects for boosting the two-way trade which has a stable upward trend were discussed separately. In 2019, the mutual trade grew by 31.7%, and according to the results of the first quarter of 2020 - 37.4% compared to the same period in 2019.
The parties reiterated their readiness to make efforts to further boost trade between Uzbekistan and Italy by facilitating mutual access of products of national producers to the markets of the two countries, conducting intercountry technical consultations between specialists of competent departments on compliance of Uzbek products with the requirements of customs, phytosanitary and quarantine control of the European Union opening trading houses of two countries.
An agreement was also reached on establishing and expanding cooperation with such banks as Unicredit, Intesa Sanpaolo, UBI Bank and other financial institutions in Italy.
Luigi Di Maio valued the progress made to the signing of an Expanded Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with the European Union, obtaining the status of a beneficiary country of the GSP + preference system and on Uzbekistan’s accession to the World Trade Organization.
He expressed readiness to provide technical and advisory support to Uzbekistan in these matters.
A separate agreement was reached on cooperation in the implementation of social projects, such as the opening of a branch of the University of Pisa in Tashkent, the creation of a joint faculty of Medical Bioengineering of Sannio University at the Tashkent Pediatric Medical Institute, the establishment of the Italian Design Center in Tashkent and implementing of Italian teaching methods in the field of tourism in the curricula of the Silk Road International Tourism University in Samarkand.
Following the discussion, the parties outlined further actions in the identified areas and agreed to intensify bilateral contacts by holding regular online sessions at the ministerial level.