Rome - Italy considers the Armenian market to be of "strategic interest, especially due to the rapid growth of the middle class and consumption figures". Both countries intend to "progress with economic relations", said Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano during a joint press conference held at the Farnesina, with his Armenian colleague, Edward Nalbandian. The two dignitaries inaugurated the first Italo-Armenian Joint Commission on Economic Cooperation on the occasion of the Country Presentation event dedicated to Armenia, which gathered together more than 250 entrepreneurs at the Farnesina. Minister Alfano added that Italy wished "to give a concrete response to the strong interest our firms have in the Armenian market."
This is a continuation of the expression of interest which began during last year's visit of the former Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni to Armenia. The most interesting sectors are "infrastructure, energy, construction, the service industry, agrifood and tourism", along with culture, "which has become a great example of collaboration with the establishment of a regional restoration center, thanks to the Italian Development Cooperation". He explained that "there are expectations for this initiative to give rise to new economic opportunities and collaborations" since the conditions for a major leap forward already exist. The Armenian Foreign Minister also supports these ideas, and underlined that "there is potential that needs to be exploited in order to foster this dialogue."
The Country Presentation event was an occasion to "create new business opportunities". Minister Nalbandian indicated that "culture, education and science are the sectors which need further cooperation" and highlighted the importance of holding regular political consultations. The minister focused his attention on the EU, underlining that Armenia is "looking forward to signing a partnership agreement this autumn for political dialogue and an active cooperation in order to stimulate economic relations".