Italy’s top diplomat to Qatar has underscored the vital role of regional interconnectivity in the growth and development of businesses in the GCC, particularly in Qatar.
Citing the “solidarity and stability” agreement signed at the 41st GCC Summit held in Al-Ula, Saudi Arabia, Italian ambassador Alessandro Prunas emphasised that this development will not only strengthen Qatar-Italy relations but it will also provide Italian companies a wider perspective of the GCC.
“The end of the Gulf rift is actually an opportunity for Italian companies to have a regional overview from Qatar. So, from this perspective, we are very excited and very confident. We are looking at even strengthening this regional interconnectivity, which is fundamental for the development of further business,” Prunas told Gulf Times.
“On Qatar-Italy ties, the end of the blockade will strengthen even further this relationship, considering that both countries have been strategic partners for many years. We are very excited on the prospects that this development would bring.
“This is a process, and we will patiently wait and see what happens but we’re confident that there would be a full restoration and opening of regional connectivity,” the ambassador continued.
Prunas also said the strategic dialogue signed by Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation Luigi Di Maio and HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani in December 2020 will also play a significant role in enhancing relations of both countries.
He said the strategic dialogue aims to strengthen political and diplomatic relations, and develop bilateral relations, as well as areas in investment, trade, energy, agriculture, food security, tourism, co-operation in cultural affairs, education, science and technology, health, sports, and youth.
Prunas said, “The strategic dialogue is an agreement that will allow both countries to meet on a regular basis and discuss questions of common interest, which includes not only political issues but topics related to trade, culture, and common developmental co-operation between countries.”
Speaking on the recently-held ‘The Supper Club’, a regular business networking event organised by the Italian Chamber of Commerce’s ‘Back2Business’ team in Doha, Prunas lauded the resumption of business to business meetings, saying it is essential for both local and international companies in Doha to meet regularly to network, maintain connections, and update one another on business trends under the new normal.
“The pandemic has taken the global business community by surprise; we have learned how to live with the pandemic but at the same time, we should not forget that we need to get businesses going. Therefore, this networking activity is very important, which is why I support this endeavour; congratulations to the organisers and to those involved in making these meetings possible,” he said.
Prunas also lauded Qatar’s “generosity” for its Covid-19 vaccine campaign across the country.
“Qatar proves to be a very generous host country because the vast majority of people living here are mostly expatriates who contribute to the development of the state. And amid the pandemic, the inoculation campaign indicates that Qatar is looking after the welfare of all the residents and its people,” Prunas said.