Qatar and Italy recorded a more than 140% year-on-year (y-o-y) growth in trade volume to reach €4bn in the first eight months of 2022, according to data provided by the Italian Trade Agency (ITA) Doha Office.
“It is worth pointing out that the total bilateral trade in 2021 was approximately €3.3bn.
Italy ranks fourth among Qatar’s supplier countries after India and before Germany, and it is the ninth destination market of Qatari exports,” Italian Trade Commissioner Paola Lisi told Gulf Times.
On both countries’ top export products, Lisi explained that Italy exported more than €1.1bn in machinery, furniture, fashion, semi and finished products, food and beverage, and pharmaceuticals to Qatar in the first eight months of 2022, registering a more than 45% y-o-y increase. Conversely, Qatar’s exports to Italy were mainly oil and gas, and plastics, she noted.
ITA Doha Office is the Trade Promotion Section of the Italian embassy in Qatar. The ITA concluded the second part of its ‘Week of Italian Cuisine in Qatar’ initiative, which was held in Cucina Friday. The first part of the initiative was launched in Pizzeria Spontini.
Italian ambassador Paolo Toschi said: “Italian cuisine is one of our ways of transmitting values, along with services and products. Among these values are sustainability and the understanding and empowerment of local traditions that are expressed in cuisine as they are in other forms.
“We know that there is appreciation in Qatar for these values and endeavours, and it goes beyond the simple provision of goods and services, so we’re delighted to have Qatari friends explore Italian cuisine.”
Regarding the ‘Week of Italian Cuisine in Qatar’ event, Lisi said a wide range of Italian food products are being exported to Qatar, such as pasta, bakery products, cheese, dairy products, vegetable sauces and preserves, chocolate products, and olive oil.
“The variety of Italian food production is so extensive that we believe it is possible to increase the offer of our products on this market. The total value of Italian food products exported to Qatar during the first eight months of 2022 exceeded €39mn with an increase of more than 75% compared to the same period in 2021,” Lisi stressed.
Asked about ITA’s partnerships with different hypermarkets in Qatar and the agency’s role in increasing Italian food exports here, Lisi said the ITA signed a cooperation agreement with LuLu Group International in 2020 and 2021.
“This is part of continuing efforts to increase knowledge and raise the consumption of authentic Italian products in Qatar. The partnership was fruitful not only for Lulu and the Italian Trade Agency but also for Qatari consumers who now have a wider choice of Italian food products. We are always looking forward to strengthening the cooperation and partnership with Qatari companies in all fields,” Lisi said.
She added: “To continue raising awareness and grow the consumption of authentic Italian products in Qatar, we will organise business missions for Qatari buyers to the main international exhibitions that will be held in Italy in 2023, such as Tuttofood, Cibus, and Sigep, among others. We also plan to sign another partnership agreement with a major food retailer in Qatar to bring in more Italian food suppliers here.”