On May 31 this year, a delegation of Uzbekistan's leading research and analytical centres met with the Italian Mediterranean Institute for Asia and Africa (ISMAA) in Rome.
The Mediterranean Institute for Asia and Africa is a non-profit think tank founded in 2017. The aim of the institute is to promote dialogue between Italy and the countries of Asia and Africa, to strengthen and promote international cooperation in the fields of economy and culture, science and research.
The event was attended by representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, leading companies, Italian research institutes and ISMAA experts.
The representative composition of the meeting made it possible to discuss in detail the deepening of Uzbek-Italian relations, the current state and prospects of regional interaction in Central Asia, and the role of Brussels and Rome in ensuring the sustainable development of the region.
According to Eldor Aripov, director of the Institute for Strategic and Regional Studies under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, contacts between our two nations have a centuries-old tradition of diplomatic, trade, economic and cultural ties. Today, the interaction between the countries is being filled with new content, cooperation at the level of ministries and agencies, regions, as well as between business circles of Uzbekistan and Italy has been consistently expanding.
Speaking about regional cooperation, ISRS Director stressed that today Central Asia is becoming more consolidated and resistant to internal and external challenges.
Assessing the current state of relations between Central Asia and the European Union, Eldor Aripov noted that the multilateral dialogue between the two regions has reached a qualitatively new level.
Today the EU is one of the major trade, economic and investment partners of the region. The EU accounts for more than a third of Central Asia's total foreign trade and about 40% of all investments attracted.
In turn, the Italian side confirmed Rome's great interest in the positive changes taking place in recent years in Uzbekistan and Central Asia as a whole.
As former Italian ambassador to Uzbekistan R.Manar stressed, the large-scale reforms implemented in the country under the leadership of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev have a significant impact on the entire region. "Stability and predictability" are becoming, thanks to Uzbekistan, the hallmark of the entire Central Asian region. Italy fully supports them and is ready to contribute in any way possible to the sustainable development of the region.
Following the meeting, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Institute for Strategic and Regional Studies under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Mediterranean Institute of Asia and Africa.
Within the framework of the document, it is planned to implement joint research projects, publish their results, hold conferences and round tables on topical issues of bilateral relations and regional cooperation.