The American image is tar-and-feather condition in Afghanistan, and by default the American companies are automatically under suspicion.
Some European countries that traditionally enjoyed great respect in Afghanistan are now limping with a questionable repute because of their shoulder-to-shoulder foray into disaster.
Italy, by comparison, is looked at positively in Afghanistan. This is a great chance to tap into the freshly opening market of Afghanistan by joining the TAPI (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project).
The joint Turkmen-Italian business forum, held in Milan on 6 November 2019, covered some grounds in highlighting TAPI for the Italian investors.
The Italian companies showed interest and conversation would continue to determine the extent and shape of partnership if deemed feasible.
It must be kept in mind that TAPI is not just a gas pipeline. It is a corridor, covering the gas, and eventually oil pipelines, road and later railway link, fiber optic connection, and electricity transmission network.
The capabilities of the Italian companies are in compatibility with the opportunities arising from this potentially game-changing corridor.
It is also noteworthy that Eni has long established presence in Turkmenistan. Equally noteworthy is that another traditional partner of Turkmenistan, Chalyk Holding, is committed to build and manage the power transmission lines from Turkmenistan to Pakistan through the territory of Afghanistan.
The TAPI passes along the same route.
Just hypothetically speaking, if Chalyk Holding and Eni could hold a conversation on the probability of partnering in TAPI, not just the pipeline but the corridor, it would be of great interest to well-wisher of this project.
Also, there is the fact that Italy is at the client side junction of the Southern Gas Corridor.
The presence in the energy security solutions at two strategic locations in the Eurasian landmass would be of long term benefit for Italy and Italian companies.
As we know, Italy is a preferred partner of Turkmenistan for interaction modules with Europe. What we are looking at is a moment of historic decision for not just Italy and Turkmenistan but Europe and Central-South Asia. /// nCa, 7 November 2019