6 Sep 2023 10:18

Kazakhstan and Italy aim to expand cooperation

ASTANA. Sept 6 (Interfax) - Kazakh Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Murat Nurtleu met with Italian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Antonio Tajani on Tuesday in Astana to discuss the current state and future prospects for developing cooperation between the countries.

"The parties expressed mutual interest in strengthening bilateral ties by maintaining political dialogue, boosting trade and investment cooperation, and exploring opportunities with high-tech Italian companies," the Kazakh ministry's press service said.

The ministers hailed the increase in mutual trade that surged 54% to $14.9 billion in 2022, as well as the successful implementation of a number of large investment projects in Kazakhstan with the participation of Italian companies.

Nurtleu expressed hope for Italy's support in relaxing visa restrictions for Kazakh citizens traveling to the European Union.

"At the meeting, both parties reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening the strategic partnership between Kazakhstan and Italy based on the agreement of 2009. They also signed a joint statement highlighting their collaboration in priority sectors like manufacturing, digitalization, and water resource management. Additionally, the two countries will work together on cultural and humanitarian exchanges, including academic relations," according to the press service.

Italy is Kazakhstan's largest trading partner in Europe, with a focus on energy, natural resources, construction, infrastructure, transport, communications, agriculture, technology, and consulting services.

Italy's direct investment in Kazakhstan totaled $7.3 billion from 2005 to 2022. There are currently around 270 Kazakh companies with Italian investment operating in the country.