20/May/2020 Economic Diplomacy
Giovanni Petriccioli is Italian investor that unlocked business opportunities in Uzbekistan. His company, Italmatec Srl, is focusing on processing of natural stone as well as production of consturction and facing materials.
He says the company has been operating in Uzbekistan for many years but only in the last 4 years they have been actively engaged in the country. “Cooperation with became so close that Uzbekistan actually became my home, where I have my activities and family,” adds Petriccioli.
Italmatec Srl has several participations in Uzbek companies. Despite not always achieving expected results, Petriccioli says the company has never lost confidence in the market and the country.
“The country has changed a lot in the last two years, thanks to the reforms and measures of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev. Now there is a favorable business climate, bureaucracy has been lightened and international openings are certainly helping,” shares Italian businessman. “Particularly, we are currently working on projects in Bukhara, Samarkand and Navoi-Nurata.”
“Dunyo” correspondent spoke to Giovanni Petriccioli about his business, the impact of COVID-19 and the future of bilateral economic cooperation with the country.
Mr. Petriccioli, how has novel coronavirus outbreak impacted your business?
Pandemic has slowed down all our projects. The construction sector has stopped causing immense damage. We didn’t have the opportunity to implement some of new projects, such as in Bukhara, for example, because travelling to China, Russia and Europe doesn’t seem possible now. In addition to this, there is the difficulty of getting between one region and another.
How did you address these challenges?
With confidence and pragmatism, the optimism and imagination that characterizes us Italians. It helped me to maintain the decisions taken, we Italians, it is said, in times of difficulty we know how to give the best of ourselves.
For the time of pandemic, Uzbekistan has been introducing a number of measures to assist entrepreneurs to sustain their businesses. How do you assess them?
Firstly, I would like to emphasize the fact that Uzbekistan acted promptly and with pragmatism and professionalism in the fight against the pandemic.
I have also noticed a great deal of discipline on the part of the people who follow the provisions of the authorities. My wife Olga Jdanova Petriccioli works in the health sector in Tashkent. Thanks to her and other medical workers I have always had confidence in the end of pandemic. I believe that the Uzbek healthcare system, in this particular case, can be taken as an example in Europe.
With regard to the economic measures put in place by the government for companies that have and are suffering damage from the coronavirus, even though we have not had the opportunity to benefit from them, I believe, they are appropriate and timely and I am sure they will help companies to resume business with even greater enthusiasm.
As Uzbekistan has taken steps toward steady release of quarantine and allow entrepreneurs resume their work, how do you think it will impact the future of economic ties between Uzbekistan and Italy?
I believe, economic relations are bound to be consolidated in the immediate future. As evidence of the growing interest of the Italian system in Uzbekistan, a committee has recently been set up to promote the creation of Confederation of Italian Industry (Confindustria) Uzbekistan, which I hope will soon be able to become a reality.
We must thank the Uzbek Embassy in Rome and the Italian Embassy in Tashkent for the enormous amount of work they have done to develop and consolidate economic relations between the two countries.
I foresee a strong increase in economic relations between the two countries. When I talk to my Italian colleagues, I suggest that they can believe strongly in local market and the country because there are all conditions, security and perspective wise to invest. Those include fast growing market, and new opportunities to export from the country.
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