(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) The Qatar-Italian business forum kicked off in Doha. The forum was organised by the Qatari businessmen association (QBA) with a view to promoting and bolstering the trade and economic relations between Qatar and Italy.
Addressing the opening session of the function, Mario Ciacci, the Italian Deputy Minister For Business And Development who is also Acting Minister Of Infrastructure And Transport said,'' I would like to thank the Authorities of Qatar and the organizers of this event for the brilliant initiative and their kind invitation. I firmly believe that this event will generate fruitful effects on our bilateral relationship of collaborations.
''Qatar is a dynamic country, with strong economic roots, It has shown real gross Domestic Product growth rages that are among the highest in the world and it projected to further ambitious development perspectives. Therefore I am quite satisfied to underline that Italy bears a good position among the main partners of this Country'', said Mario Ciaccia.
The latest figures available for 2011 show a significant increase in bilateral interchanges (over 2.5 billion) in favor of Doha, taking into account the important contribution of the Rovigo regasification terminal, presently working at its full capacity thus enabling a large increase in imports of LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) from Qatar to Italy. These figures also take into consideration the current contraction of our exports in comparison to 2010, as a consequence of the slowdown of the economic trend in the Western economies trend that presently is still uncertain''.
''We are determined to enhance our good position as partners of, Qatar not only by relying on the respect and the sincere friendship that binds our two countries, but also exploring new opportunities for cooperation in fields where mutual interests are growing''. Among these, I would like to mention the infrastructure sector, where Italy has developed high skills, well acknowledged all over the world, most of which are represented here today by companies of guaranteed and qualified experience that undoubtedly acquitted themselves well on many occasions and in many areas of the world.
''I am convinced that, thanks to this opportunity to meet and know each other for which I am once again grateful to the Qatar businessmen Association and to its President, the Italian enterprises will establish use full contacts, so to concretely taking part in routing Qatar along the Extraordinary undertaken path of future development''.
What we have acknowledged so far show that such an extraordinary development of Qatar, however, will not be achieved by following an indefinite way of doing, but following the path of quality, creativity, innovation...It is path that Italy strongly appreciates and in which Italy identifies itself, having walked it for years, indeed for centuries.
The approach and the action of our companies is inspire by this vision and, in consideration of the demanding requirements that this approach implies, Italy is appreciated everywhere as well ass its companies....In my opinion, in terms of infrastructure it is important to make choices that give priority to the quality of works. From this point of view, I can certainly affirm that Italian companies have gained a large experience in building infrastructure in the world; consequently they have a reputation in high specialization for innovative solutions tested and implemented, which place them far advanced and in the top class of the companies more competitive internationally.
Mario Ciaccia further said,'' It is not by chance then that in the world rankings of companies building infrastructures and in works such as das, viaducts, subways the Italian enterprises rank in the top places. Strong of such approval and confident in their experience, the Italian companies wish to contribute to the programs of Qatar in the various fields of infrastructure and transport.
In particular, with regard to the road and motorway infrastructure sector, the Italian companies with to participate in the important development of the Qatar road network, as well as in the activities of maintenance and technical support for the management of works.
The same thing is valid also in the railway transport, considering the ambitious development plan which will involve Qatar in view of the 2022 Football world Championship which implies the realization of a news integrated transport network including, among other things, the Doha underground and the "Qatar Integrated Railway Project".
Italian mission that i have the pleasure to lead consists of over 50 companies and also of the top management of CONFIDUSTRIA ( the main representative organization of Italian companies and services with over 140 thousand members) of SIMEST (an Italian company for abroad enterprises, owned for more than 70% by the Italian Government, which has the main task of supporting the development of Italian firms, particularly the small and medium-sized enterprise, in foreign markets,) and of ANCE(national Association of Builders).
This is a system mission that we intended to promote also for answering the requests coming from several parts, both by Qatar and Italian top management, to help them in making a crucial breakthrough to the good relations existing between our two countries , so that they could really reach a strategic level. I am convinced, indeed, that international cooperation in the field of transport and infrastructures is full of positive implications also on the political level.
Infrastructures and transport are in fact factors of excellence in terms of cooperation, being tools of trade and commerce not only promoting development but also enabling potential partnerships and collaborations both at national and at international level.
These factors, in their feature of connecting persons and people, have on many occasions, helped to overcome barriers over long periods, as we experienced in Europe. Their eminently positive nature implied that Governments should privilege them in their planning, as Qatar is carrying out steadily.
The Italian senior official went on to say,'' Moreover,'' the World development" necessarily evokes a number of crucial areas not only related to the benefit of economies but also of people, small and medium industries, environment, tourism, education, food security, mobility, energy, These are areas close to the daily needs of citizens, which have a significant impact on their quality of life, It is these sectors that the cooperation between our two countries can make the deference.
I am sure will achieve the maximum mutual benefit from our meetings, which will hopefully give us some guidance in views of the forthcoming State visit to Italy of HH the Emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani in the model of April Next and thanked HE the Minister and the QBA president, Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani, and extended him the invitation to come to Italy to resume the train of thoughts started today, to develop and extend our dialogue to new initiatives of common interest.
For his part, HE Sheikh Nawaf Bin Nasser Al Thani, the Board Member of QBA said in a similar opening address, said, ''This visit is an important step to supporting the economic and trade cooperation between Qatar and Italy ; this reflects the earnest will of the Italian business community, in expanding business cooperation and ties with their Qatari counterparts.
''The State of Qatar is witnessing an economic growth in various sectors as result of the wise leadership of HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, and Qatar's political stability, security and economic prosperity, led our country to become an attractive destination for regional and international investment.
Such effective economic performance, manifested in the growth rate of 18.7% in 21011, and in creating major investment opportunities in all sectors such as health, education and news technologies, This growth is also reflected in the state's economic competitiveness which ranks 14th among the world, leading the Middle East and North Africa region including the GCC.
The Qatari-Italian economic relations have achieved a great improvement in the last few years, where the trade volume has doubled to 1.55 billion Euros in 2010, and Italy is positioned as the second largest European exporter to Qatar, where the total exports reached 5.5 billion riyals in 2011.
'' We are well aware of Italy's role and capabilities as one of the most important industrial nations in the European Union, where the industrial sector in Italy represents 25.2% of the GDP, a member of the Group of eights, and the seventh largest economy in the world, in addition to its touristic attractions and capabilities in the services sector which represents 72.9% and the various incentives and opportunities it offers for investment, These great potentials that both Qatar and Italy have should constitute a basis for a strong a solid economic cooperation and partnership between the two Countries.
Finally, we could like to encourage the Italian businessmen to cooperate with their Qatari counterparts, and identify business opportunities in Qatar, as the business communities in Qatar is keen to benefit from the Italian experience and expertise in all sectors, we hope our meeting will contribute to the development of cooperation opportunities between our two countries on the basis of respect of reciprocal interests and internationally recognized professional terms.