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MENAFN - The Peninsula - 07/10/2012

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(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Qatar Chamber (QC) is set to sign Memorandum of Understanding with its Italian counterpart (Chamber of Commerce Pesaro e Urbino) with an aim to facilitate bilateral trade and investment between the two countries, a senior official of QC said recently.

Remy Rowhany, Director-General of Qatar Chamber, said: "All the facilities at the Qatar Chamber are at your disposal. So do not ask what the Chamber can give you, ask what you need, and we will strive to extend all the best possible support required in establishing a company."

He was speaking at a dinner reception held in honour of Dr Alberto Drudi, President of Pesaro and Urbino Chamber of Commerce and the accompanying business delegation from Italy, at St Regis Doha Hotel on Thursday.

Qatar and Italy are trying to deepen and strengthen bilateral trade ties very aggressively. Qatar recently made huge investments in Italy by acquiring many businesses and properties, including a multi-million dollar fashion house. Qatari businessmen are also keen to invest in fields like automobile industry, jewellery and fashion in Italy.

Although the exact figures for Qatar-Italy trade volume were not available with the officials; however, the two sides had expected the volume to grow over ‚2bn (QR10bn) in 2011 from ‚1.55bn in 2010.

"Your investment in this country is safe. For those who do not want to rely on the local legal system, incase of any legal dispute, we have an International Arbitration Centre in place for amicable settlement of disputes," Rowhany told the Italian delegates.

QC encourages companies and investment from industry intensive areas to set up businesses in Qatar to boost the growth and development of local Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). "Since Italian economy, which has a lot of "know how", is presently in bad shape, we need to take advantage of this opportunity. In business there is nothing wrong to be opportunist, we need them, and they need us, he said.

Asked, if the demand by local businesses to compel foreign companies to source 30 percent of building materials locally will have any adverse impact on foreign investment, he said: "Rules and regulations have to be put in place to encourage local business communities since certain sectors are lagging behind. If you go to invest in the US and Europe, you would probably have a situation much worse than what you just explained."

Rowhany firmly believes that such regulations will not any negative impact on investors as long as they have desire to do business. "Make every stumbling block a stepping stone to success. If they think so, let them use it for their success."

Dr Drudi praised the strong relations between Qatar and Italy and said that the agreements between the two organisations will further help in promoting economic and trade cooperation between the two countries.

Meanwhile, Qatari Business-men Association (QBA) also held a meeting with Drudi and his accompanying delegation at the QBA offices on Thursday.

The meeting was headed by Hussein Alfardan, QBA's First Deputy Chairman, and was attended by the board member Sherida Saad Jubran Al Kaabi, and members Khalid Al Mannai, Abdul Hamid Mostafawi, Maqbool Habib Khalfan, in addition to H E the Ambassador Saad bin Hilal bin Saad Al Mohannadi.

Dr Drudi thanked the members for attending and briefed them about the Italian region Pesaro and Urbino, which is ranked as the first Italian region in terms of percentage of factories and firms and eighth in Europe, with more than 44,000 industrial companies specialising in various sectors, including yacht manufacturing and maintenance, building materials, food, furniture and other sectors. Rich in skilled and innovative workforce, the region is also a base for Italy's main factories, some of which are very important Italian brands such as interior design of Ferrari cars, Fendi Homes furniture, Scavolini kitchen, Tod's and others.

Hussein Alfardan welcomed Dr Alberto, and talked about the history of relations between the two countries. He also suggested to Dr Drudi to organise an exhibition of Italian companies to showcase to the Qatari investors the different Italian goods and investment opportunities that are found in the region of Pesaro and Urbino. Dr Drudi invited QBA members to visit the area of Pesaro and Urbino, as it is rich in investment opportunities.


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