ASTANA – Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and Italian President of the Council of Ministers Giorgia Meloni underscored mutual desire to promote peace, security and stability at both global and regional levels and continue to diversify and deepen ties in all areas of mutual interest in a joint statement published on Jan. 18, the Akorda press service reported.
The sides reaffirmed full respect for the United Nations Charter as the common framework for coexistence and cooperation and willingness to foster dialogue on international migration.
Tokayev and Meloni expressed satisfaction with the countries’ diplomatic relations, which “have transformed into a strong partnership based on mutual trust, shared values, and effective cooperation.”
“Kazakhstan is Italy’s main economic partner in Central Asia, and Italy is Kazakhstan’s largest trading partner in the European Union and one of the leading investors in the Kazakh economy,” the statement reads.
The joint statement emphasized the high prospects for development of trade and investment ties, building on the document signed by the Deputy Prime Ministers and Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan and Italy last year in Astana.
“The key areas of cooperation are energy, exploration and extraction of natural resources, green economy, construction, infrastructure, transport and logistics, agriculture, scientific and technological activities, and consulting services,” reads the joint statement.
Underlining the importance of deepening mutually beneficial cooperation, Tokayev and Meloni welcomed the establishment of the Business Council.
In their statement, both leaders noted the importance of the negotiation of an agreement between the countries’ governments on encouragement and mutual protection of investments that will contribute to the improvement of the investment climate and development of mutually beneficial trade and economic cooperation between the countries.
Higher education and culture were also addressed in the joint statement. Tokayev and Meloni noted the importance of expanding cooperation between Kazakh and Italian universities, prioritizing science and technology. The sides welcomed the official opening of the Italian Cultural Centre in Almaty on Nov. 30 last year, the first in Central Asia that “was another step towards the rapprochement of the two peoples and the strengthening of cultural ties.”
The joint statement also outlined that the participation of Kazakhstan in the 60th International Biennale of Contemporary Art in Venice will promote the culture and art of Kazakhstan both in Italy and abroad.
Tokayev and Meloni expressed readiness of the two countries to continue close cooperation within the framework of the Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between Kazakhstan and the European Union and its member states signed in 2015 and in full force since 2020.
Pledging support for major transport and connectivity initiatives in Central Asia, particularly those related to the development of the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TITR), or the so called Middle Corridor, the parties also expressed support for the implementation of the European Union’s Global Gateway project.
Reaffirming the mutual aspiration to create a solid and promising basis for cooperation between the EU and Central Asia, as well as to strengthen regional dialogue in Central Asia, Tokayev and Meloni noted the importance of holding the Central Asia + Italy format meeting in Rome this year and in Kazakhstan in 2025.
As part of promoting the climate agenda, Meloni expressed appreciation of Kazakhstan’s relevant initiatives, taking note of the proposal to establish the Project Office of Central Asian Countries on environmental protection and climate change in Almaty and hold the Regional Climate Summit under the auspices of the UN in 2026 in Kazakhstan.
President Tokayev wished Meloni success in Italy’s G7 presidency and invited her to pay a visit to Kazakhstan.
Italy is a leading trading partner for Kazakhstan in Europe and is among the largest investors in the Kazakh economy. Trade turnover between the countries reached nearly $15 billion in 2022. The volume of foreign direct investment (FDI) from Italy to Kazakhstan totaled $7.3 billion. Today, more than 300 Italian companies operate in Kazakhstan, including large investors such as ENI, SDF Group, PetroValves, Maire Tecnimont, IVECO, Tenaris and others.