Top diplomats of India and Italy in Qatar have lauded the staging of Project Qatar’s 17th edition, stating that the event plays a key role in bolstering both countries' trade relations with Qatar.
Speaking to Gulf Times on the sidelines of the opening of Project Qatar’s 17th edition at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre (DECC) Monday, Italian ambassador Alessandro Prunas said: “Notwithstanding the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the global economy, Italy is represented by a number of leading Italian companies at this latest exhibition.
“Italy has always had an important participation in Project Qatar; the opportunity to participate in this event is a restart. Project Qatar is one of the most important opportunities for Italy because of the nature of the event and the products that are being displayed here, which are of huge interest to the Italian economy and its production system.

ITA trade commissioner Augusta Smargiassi

PICTURE: Shaji Kayamkulam

Prunas said Qatar is among Italy’s top export destinations for Italian machineries, which, as of September 2021, increased by 45%. Other Italian exports in the following sectors also increased: furniture (42%), fashion (41%), and agri-foods (3%). The overall exchange between Italy and Qatar reached €1.2bn or a 37.5% growth in the first half of 2021, according to figures released previously by the Italian Trade Agency (ITA) in Doha.
ITA trade commissioner Augusta Smargiassi also stressed that the impact of the exhibition on Italy’s trade relations with Qatar “is very important,” adding that Italy is targeting a year-on-year increase in the number of participating Italian companies in the next editions of Project Qatar.
Similarly, Indian ambassador Dr Deepak Mittal said more than 10 companies from India are participating in Project Qatar, which was inaugurated by HE the Minister of Commerce and Industry and Acting Minister of Finance Ali bin Ahmed al-Kuwari.
“India certainly has strength in the construction and industrial sectors, and Indian companies have been doing a bountiful job for entities in Qatar, be it Kahramaa, Ashghal, and QP, among other sectors where they are participating in the development and growth of Qatar.
“Events like Project Qatar provides an opportunity for India to showcase its specialisation in fields, such as the services sector, among other areas where existing work is already being done,” Mittal pointed out.
“This exhibition also provides an opportunity for people to get to know more about this sector and to build and develop new relations,” the ambassador noted, citing the presence of organisations like the Kerala Business Forum and the Indian Business & Professionals Council.
On Qatar-India trade, Mittal added: “In 2021, we have already seen the graph moving up in a positive direction; statistics would be out soon. India and Qatar continue to be among the top five trading partners.
“Qatar is concerned in terms of being able to bring goods and commodities to India as an export destination, and to be able to source goods and services from India, so certainly the trade and partnership between both countries are growing and I am confident that this will continue to grow.”
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