Italian firms tap growth potential in UAE


Italian firms tap growth potential in UAE
Valentina Setta, Consul-General, Italian General Consulate

dubai - Italy remains the UAE's third largest trade partner in Europe


Farhana Chowdhury

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Published: Wed 1 Mar 2017, 7:17 PM

Last updated: Wed 1 Mar 2017, 9:19 PM

Italy remains the UAE's third largest trade partner in Europe with shared interests in political and economic cooperation, despite the decline in Italian exports to the country last year attributed to unfavourable crude oil price trends, Valentina Setta, Consul-General, Italian General Consulate, told Khaleej Times.

"Bilateral relations between Italy and the UAE are excellent and this was confirmed by the recent visit of our Minister of Foreign Affairs Angelino Alfano, who was received by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation," she said.

The visit took place on the sidelines of the first UAE-Italy strategic dialogue session that aims to enhance cooperation across several fields. Setta added that Italy sees opportunities for growth in the UAE market and hopes that the upcoming Expo 2020 will add a boost to relevant sectors.

"Italy was the first among G7 countries to officially confirm participation in the Expo 2020 in Dubai. Italian companies are showing growing interest to participate in this new adventure," Setta added.

Under the guidance of the Italian Embassy in Abu Dhabi, the General Consulate works closely with the Italian Trade Agency in Dubai to support Italian companies.

In an earlier interview, Gianpaolo Bruno, Trade Commissioner to the UAE, Oman and Pakistan at the Italian Trade Agency, revealed that 187 Italian companies are present at Gulfood this year. The Italian Food Lab, known to be the largest representation at the event, covers a range of sectors including food and beverage manufacturers, traders, distributors and packaging.

Setta said that a special initiative is in progress to promote contemporary Italian design to the world. Launched by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, it will host events in over 100 cities, including Dubai, and gather seasoned Italian architects, business leaders, critics, academics and designers to illustrate the history and new trends that the Italian design sector has to offer.

"The event will take place on March 13 during Design Days Dubai with the participation of two Italian architects," she added.


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