Qatar, Italy eye further boost to bilateral ties Jan 21, 2020 0 935 12345 QNADohaAs part of Qatar’s unwavering keenness to strengthen its external relations and build bridges, the Amir HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani will meet Italian President Sergio Mattarella at the Amiri Diwan on Tuesday. The Italian president arrived in Doha on Monday for a state visit to Qatar.The Amir is scheduled to discuss with the Italian president bilateral relations and the ways to strengthen them as well as 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 open more fields and horizons to expand and strengthen them, and also to serve the aspirations and common interests of the two countries and their peoples.The visit is a part of the wise policy of 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.The Italian president’s visit to Qatar is expected to contribute to developing cooperation relations between the two countries and upgrading them to broader horizons in all fields. The visit also aims to raise the level of economic cooperation, increase the volume of trade exchange and enhance cooperation in various vital sectors between the two countries.The Italian-Qatari relations have gone from strength to strength since the opening of embassies in the capitals of the two countries in 1992. Since then the bilateral relations have witnessed rapid and solid development in all fields, especially economic and commercial. These relations have turned into strategic partnership, thanks to the keenness of the leaderships of the two countries to upgrade them in various sectors.In recent years, Doha and Rome have further strengthened and developed their relations through exchange of official visits of leaders and senior officials. The Amir visited Italy in January 2016 and November 2018, while Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte visited Doha in April 2018.A Qatari-Italian Businessmen Council has also been established to enhance economic relations and explore areas of bilateral cooperation.These relations were also strengthened by the successful participation of Qatar in the Expo Milano 2015, where the Pavilion of Qatar witnessed the organisation of several events that greatly contributed to introducing the Qatari economy and its broad investment prospects. The agreements and MoUs signed between Qatar and Italy play an important role in strengthening and consolidating bilateral relations in various fields.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 8 billion cubic metres of Qatari LNG every year, equivalent to 10 percent of Italy’s needs.The military cooperation between the two countries extends to Qatar’s purchase of seven Italian naval units worth €5 billion, as well as NH90 helicopters, which is the latest of its kind in the helicopter sector.Italy is the eighth trading partner and the seventh largest supplier to Qatar, with the volume of trade exchange between the two countries exceeding €1 billion. 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 Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup.The number of Italian companies operating in the country is about 250, of which 200 are companies with joint Italian and Qatari capital and 50 companies with 100 percent Italian capital and ownership.Italy is an outstanding destination for Qatari investments that have entered into various sectors and economic activities, which embodies the state’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 and four Italian destinations. 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