By Peter Alagos/Business Reporter
Italy has recorded a 26% increase in its furniture exports to Qatar this year, according to trade commissioner Giosafat Rigano at the Italian Trade Agency (ITA) in Doha.
Rigano told Gulf Times that for the first six months of the year, Italian furniture exports to Qatar stood at more than €100mn, making it the second-largest export product after machineries, which grew by 2% in the same period this year.
Aside from machineries and furniture, Rigano said the third largest sector in terms of Italian exports to Qatar is fashion, which saw an 11% growth, followed by the food and beverage (F&B) sector.
With trade volume reaching €1.4bn in the first six months of 2018, Rigano said Italy is expecting to surpass last year’s Qatar-Italy trade volume, which stood at more than €2bn.
According to Italian ambassador Pasquale Salzano, the field of furniture-making is a sector that could be explored, with the aim of merging Qatari and Italian craftsmanship.
The ambassador said there is a possibility to build small factories in Qatar that specialise in small Italian furniture.
Salzano said the Italian embassy will work on forging partnerships between Italian furniture makers and their Qatari counterparts. Plans are also on the anvil for artisan workshops to be held in Doha.
Salzano said he is eyeing Katara – the Cultural Village – as the venue for the workshops.
In the F&B sector, Salzano said many Qatari companies have expressed “strong interest” in importing several Italian products, such as those used in the Horeca (hotel, restaurant, café) industry.
A delegation of companies from Italy’s Trentino region participated in Hospitality Qatar, held in Doha recently.
Salzano said the Italian embassy is not only promoting Italian business interests in Qatar but also the interests of Qatari investors in Italy.
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