On September 3, 2020, a telephone conversation took place between President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and President of the Italian Republic Sergio Mattarella.
At the beginning of the conversation, the Turkmen leader emphasized that he recalls with particular warmth his visit to Italy in November 2019, where, during the summit in Rome, topical issues of interaction in political-diplomatic, trade-economic, cultural-humanitarian and other areas had been discussed.
President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov also thanked President Sergio Mattarella for his continued support of the neutral foreign policy of Turkmenistan. We highly appreciate the fact that Italy, actively participating in promoting the proposals of Turkmenistan, co-authored a number of UN General Assembly resolutions initiated by us in the field of energy security, sustainable transport, ecology, the head of state said. - In turn, our country supports the constructive initiatives of the Italian Republic, as well as its candidacy in elections to various international structures.
Continuing the conversation, Presidents Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and Sergio Mattarella specified the key vectors of cooperation, outlining the trade and economic sphere among them. In this regard, it was noted that Italy is the largest economic partner of Turkmenistan among European states.
So, last year, it took the 3rd place in the foreign trade of our country, while the bilateral trade amounted to more than one and a half billion US dollars. It is also noteworthy that today Italy holds the second position in the list of partners in the export of Turkmen products.
An important area of trade and economic partnership, of course, is the contacts between business structures. In this aspect, it was noted with satisfaction that the result of the Turkmen-Italian business forum held in Milan in November last year was the signing of 20 bilateral documents.
In the context of the further development of cooperation in this direction, an emphasis was placed on such a strategically important area as the oil and gas sector. There is a solid potential for cooperation in the oil and gas processing industries, where we are talking, first of all, about the construction of factories for the production of products, the main raw material of which is natural gas.
During the telephone conversation, Presidents Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and Sergio Mattarella dwelled on the topic of humanitarian cooperation. As it was emphasized, Italy and Turkmenistan have a rich historical and cultural heritage, which provides good prerequisites for deepening a fruitful dialogue, in the asset of which is the regular holding of various events, as well as the many years of work of Italian specialists on a number of archeological monuments of our country.
Touching upon the issues of cooperation in the area of education, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov noted that our country pays great attention to the study of the Italian language, which today is already taught in two higher educational institutions on a systematic basis. At the same time, readiness was expressed to expand effective interaction in the social sphere, in particular, in healthcare and pharmacy.
In order to further strengthen interstate relations, promote fruitful cooperation in the political, economic and humanitarian areas, the head of Turkmenistan voiced specific proposals, including on intensifying the dialogue between the foreign ministries through regular inter-agency consultations, and in this regard, on the preparation of a bilateral road map or plan action.
To strengthen trade and economic partnership, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov proposed creating a Turkmen-Italian Business Council or an appropriate Working Group, as well as annually holding the Days of Italian Economy in Turkmenistan and opening a trade representative office of our country in Milan.
Based on the positive experience of interaction in the humanitarian sphere, the President noted the expediency of establishing the Cultural Dialogue "Turkmenistan-Italy", which could act as a permanent platform for the implementation of joint projects in the field of education, science and culture.
The head of the Turkmen state also invited his Italian counterpart to pay an official visit to Turkmenistan at any time convenient for him. This proposal was accepted with gratitude.
In conclusion, Presidents Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and Sergio Mattarella expressed satisfaction with the negotiations, which resulted in a substantive conversation on the state and development of the interstate dialogue, and exchanged best wishes for each other and the peoples of both countries.