Director-General of IOFS discusses Italy’s involvement in IFPA with Ambassador of Italy
The IOFS delegation headed by Director-General of IOFS H.E. Yerlan Baidaulet paid a visit to the Italian Embassy in Nur-Sultan on October 20, to meet Ambassador of Italy H.E. Pasquale D’Avino with the participation of Deputy Head of Mission Dr. Matteo Petrini and Commercial and Economic Attaché Dr. Emilio Sessa.
Director-General explained the background of IOFS and announced that ten years have passed since the First President of Kazakhstan H.E. Nursultan Nazarbayev proposed the establishment of IOFS.
The IOFS delegation wished to explore business opportunities with the Italian food companies, emphasizing that current food security issues are of humanitarian nature and are not limited to the OIC countries only. Italy may become a strategic partner of IOFS, as it already hosts other influential food organizations – FAO, WFP, and IFAD. Moreover, Rome is hosting the World Food Systems Summit in 2021. IOFS is also closely collaborating with an Italian company ‘Lattanzio’ that consults and guides IOFS during the institutionalisation process.
The IOFS delegate Sheikh Bilal Khan stressed the necessity of business-oriented models in programmes for food security, as donations and philanthropic projects are less pragmatic and rely much on the giving countries. He presented the IFPA programme as a B2B platform between private sectors of the OIC member states that would solve problems of logistics, regulatory framework, tariffs, taxation etc. The Italian food processing companies are major players in the food industry, with whom OIC countries, including Kazakhstan, could create franchise partnership for technology and marketing exchange.
H.E. Pasquale D’Avino assured he would bring the questions discussed to the attention of the competent authorities of Italy. However, he warned that the response might be delayed due to the complicated situation with COVID-19 around the world. With borders closed and the economy stagnant, it is not possible to communicate certain issues online. The Ambassador of Italy noted that there is a need for more organizations like IOFS and wished luck in all of its future activities. Both sides agreed to exchange Notes Verbale on the abovementioned possibilities of cooperation.
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