Despite the economic blockade imposed in June last year, international markets have kept an upbeat outlook on Qatar’s construction sector, which will be under the spotlight during the annual Project Qatar slated from May 7 to 10 at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre.“We are confident on the condition of Qatar’s construction sector and the staging of Project Qatar 2018 next week is a demonstration of this assurance,” Italian Trade Commissioner Giosafat Rigano of the Italian Trade Agency told Gulf Times on the sidelines of Monday’s press conference announcing the 15th edition of the event.
Citing figures from Qatari Customs authorities, Rigano said Italy’s exports of marble and stone to Qatar witnessed a 30% growth in 2017. He said Italy is the second main supplier of marble and stone, and the top supplier of coating for ceramic tiles, which increased by 38% during the same period.
Rigano pointed out that Qatar and Italy could share “huge opportunities” in the fields of landscaping and green development because “they respond perfectly to the conception of the Qatar National Vision 2030.”
“This year’s edition promises to be a real celebration of construction technology innovation, and will involve several sectorial areas concerning construction design, buildings, plant engineering, and architecture studies, as well as the supply of numerous products such as building materials, ceramics, marble, and floor tiles,” he said.
Asked about IFP Qatar’s outlook for the country’s construction sector this year amid the economic blockade, project director Haidar Mshaimesh said international interest in Qatar “is now raising quite the contrary to what people are speculating because international companies see it more viable to come to Qatar.”
“This challenge and the circumstances around it has turned into an opportunity for the local companies to raise production capabilities, improve competitiveness, and we are seeing local companies that are manufacturing products whose quality are at par with global standards,” Mshaimesh said.
As the largest participant this year, Chinese embassy’s head of Economic and Commercial Office Yang Song said 76 Chinese companies participating in Project Qatar 2018 and will be showcasing trends in technology and building material, machinery, electrical equipment, and latest technology in the construction sector.
“Qatar has become an important engineering and construction market for China in the Middle East region. Qatar’s construction sector is set to take a more important role in the country’s economic diversification strategy.
“The Chinese embassy will continue to encourage more qualified and capable Chinese companies to participate in this very exciting market and to form mutually-beneficial cooperation with local companies and to contribute to Qatar’s sustainable economic development,” Song said.
This year, Project Qatar will be showcasing more than 500 companies from more than 20 countries. Country pavilions will be led by China, Turkey, Iran, Germany, Kuwait, Italy, the UK, Pakistan, Austria, and Malaysia.