Total trade exchange between Qatar and Italy increased by 16% to €2.8bn in 2018 over €2.4bn in the previous year, according to Qatar Chamber chairman Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim al-Thani.

Sheikh Khalifa announced the figures in relation to the Arab-Italian Business Forum held in Milan under strategic partnership with Qatar Chamber. He said the forum provided “a brilliant opportunity” for developing trade and investment between Arab and Italian companies and businessmen.

The Qatar Chamber chairman said, “Qatar and Italy enjoy strong relations covering most aspects of co-operation… Arab countries and Italy enjoy strong, friendly relations that contribute to the enhancement of trade and investment ties.”

“Italy is a distinguished destination for Qatari investments, which are distributed in many economic sectors. Foremost of these investments is the Adriatic LNG terminal, a partnership between Qatar Petroleum, ExxonMobil, and Snam. It provides Italy with 8bn cubic metres per year, meeting about 10% of Italy’s total natural gas demand.

“There are several Italian companies operating in the Qatari market in various sectors. It is the time to increase the number of Italian companies working in Qatar, particularly in light of the economy and preparation for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, as well as incentives offered for foreign investors,” Sheikh Khalifa said.

He said Qatari businessmen are eager to explore investment opportunities in Italy and examine the possibility of establishing alliances and joint ventures with Italian counterparts.

“I hope this forum would help intensify co-operation between Arab countries and Italy in all economic and trade areas and I urge businessmen to build more alliances and partnerships,” said Sheikh Khalifa, who witnessed the signing of two MoUs between Qatar Construction Group and Italian companies Socomec and Scam beach cleaner.