Italian President Sergio Mattarella arrived in Doha today for talks as Qatar seeks to strengthen its external relations, build bridges and strengthen ties and relations with brothers and friends.

His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani will meet Mattarella at the Amiri Diwan on Tuesday.

HH the Amir will discuss with the Italian president bilateral relations, ways to develop them, and a number of issues of common concern.

This visit is a valuable occasion to push forward the solid bilateral relations between Doha and Rome and also to serve the aspirations and common interests of the two countries and their peoples.

The visit is part of the wise policy of HH the Amir and his government, which is aimed at strengthening Qatar's external relations with brothers, friends and allies and continuing to build strategic partnerships with them, as well as affirming the state's stances towards regional and international issues of common concern.

Mattarella's visit and his discussions in Qatar are expected to contribute to developing co-operation, and upgrading them to broader horizons in all fields, in a way that serves the goals pursued by the two friendly peoples, and to increase trade and enhance co-operation in various vital sectors between the two countries, which share political and economic visions.

The two countries opened embassies in 1992, and ever since, they have been witnessing rapid and solid development in all fields, especially economic and commercial.

These relations have turned into a strategic partnership, thanks to the keenness of the leaderships of the two countries.

The two countries have witnessed exchange of high-level official visits, including the Amir's visits to Italy in January 2016 and November 2018, as well as the visit of Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte to Doha in April 2018.

There have also been visits by a number of ministers in the two countries in recent years, including those of the Foreign, Interior and Defence Ministers.

A Qatari-Italian Businessmen Council has also been established to enhance economic relations and explore areas of bilateral co-operation.

These relations were also strengthened by the successful participation of Qatar in the Expo Milano 2015, where Qatar's pavilion held several events that greatly contributed to introducing the Qatari economy and its broad investment prospects.

Agreements and MoUs signed between Qatar and Italy play an important role in strengthening bilateral relations in various fields, which cover co-operation in the economic, political, diplomatic, defence, investment, scientific, educational, health, youth, sports, artistic, cultural, and tourism sectors, as well as in the fields of energy, agriculture, and strategic projects related to food security.

The Qatari-Italian economic relations witnessed significant development after the official opening of the Adriatic LNG terminal in the Italian coastal city of Rovigo in October 2009, which receives 8bn cubic metres of Qatari LNG every year, equivalent to 10% of Italy's needs.

The military co-operation between the two countries extends to Qatar's purchase of seven Italian naval units worth €5bn, as well as NH90 helicopters, which is the latest of its kind.

Italy is the eighth largest trading partner and the seventh largest supplier to Qatar, with the volume of trade exchange between the two countries exceeding €1bn.

Italian companies play an important role in supporting Qatar's development plans and projects, focusing mainly on the building and construction market, the real estate sector, infrastructure, design, health, engineering and technology, as well as projects related to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

The number of Italian companies operating in the country is about 250, of which 200 are with joint Italian and Qatari capital and 50 with 100% Italian capital and ownership.

Italy is an outstanding destination for Qatari investments that have entered into various sectors and economic activities, which embodies Qatar's dedication to harnessing part of its resources to invest in the economies of strategic partners and where promising investment opportunities exist.

Qatari investments in Italy are very large and concentrated in real estate, hotels and the development of residential areas, in addition to the Qatar Airways investments, which includes more than 40 flights a week that link Hamad International Airport to four Italian destinations.

The airline also announced the acquisition of a 49% stake in AQA Holding, the new parent company of Air Italy, known as Meridiana fly, but announced a new identity in conjunction with a new phase of growth and expansion.

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