DESTINATION europe EUROBAK Ambassador talks We are very thankful to His Excellency Mr Pasquale D’Avino, Ambassador of Italy in the Republic of Kazakhstan, for this unique opportunity to talk in an informal meeting format. On behalf of EUROBAK we would also like to welcome and thank all the guests, European and other member companies for joining EUROBAK talks. In establishing the dialogue between government and business, embassies take a very unique place. Ambassadors touch upon the economy, investment climate, culture, healthcare, education and many other aspects of the bilateral and multilateral engagements. Italy was one of the first countries that officially recognized Kazakhstan’s independence. Milan based Italian ENI was one of the first companies to establish its presence in Kazakhstan in the early 1990s. H. E. Mr Pasquale D’Avino, Ambassador of Italy in the Republic of Kazakhstan Mr Ambassador, can you share your personal story in Kazakhstan and a broader view of Kazakhstani-Italian relationships? How does it feel to be an Ambassador and what should an Ambassador have to represent, such a county as Italy? Being an Ambassador is a unique and privileged position in terms of life. You have to possess very specific qualities to be successful. First of all, being able to understand a different point of view is essential, being able to be inclusive to different cultures and visions in the world. This is true for any Italian, European or any person coming to another country that is located far away. On the other side, whether in Asia, Central Asia or Kazakhstan there should be a capability of mediating between different points of view. Flexibility is very important to any culture. It allows you to dig deep into various issues and become a promoter of your interests and state. In reality Italy as a country belongs to the European Union in terms of common values 18 world monitor and sense we share. But you have to deal with this unity accepting that other visions exist as well. Being without prejudice is important – not judging what belongs to a white or any other race makes bur remaining unbiased. There are certain values coming from being the Italian Ambassador. You’ve got a fascinating job since you represent the great civilization descending from the Roman Empire, the Renaissance and the Baroque époques, Futurism as we as representing a highly industrialized country. However, we are the country suffering from so many prejudices directed toward us. As the Ambassador I feel I should break the art of prejudices. I have grown tired of explaining that we are not a country of pizza and tomato sauce. Our number one exports are not fashion, mandolini or spaghetti, but it is machinery and mechanics. We are the second after Germany in terms of machinery. We are highly industrialized. Italy has six million registered companies. In Europe some countries barely have that many people in the population. This is the country I’m representing. The country that has always been a centre of Mediterranean relations. We have great inclination for traveling around the world, like such popular characters and well-known travelers as Marco Polo, Giovanni da Pian del Carpine, Stefano Ricci and many others. Long before computers and any digital devices were introduced, we were known as innovators of many things, much earlier than others.