UAE, Italy boost trade ties

UAE, Italy boost trade ties

An event in Pisa marked the end of a long-wait for the traders who craved for striking deals to boost their fortunes.

By Ramdas R. Volvoikar

Published: Sat 29 Aug 2015, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Sun 30 Aug 2015, 10:19 AM

Business relations between the UAE and Italy reached a greater height with the stakeholders converging on a single platform at the 'UAE Days in Toscana', held in Pisa this weekend. The event marked the end of a long-wait for the traders who craved for striking deals to boost their fortunes.
In normal circumstances, Dubai-based Maryse Gedeon and Italy-based Giulia Pinzani would not have met personally for business talks, even though they were in touch on phone for more than three years. Similar is the case of UAE entrepreneurs Ibrahim Al Shekaili and Najah Hussain Al Muntafiq.
The event helped them realise their long-cherished dream. Organised by Abu Dhabi-based Shaikh Khalifa Fund and Sistemaeventi, the four-day-long business initiative gave many UAE residents a chance to bond with Italian entrepreneurs for the first time and also strike various deals.
The exercise aimed at creating synergies between the two countries drew more than 630 people from UAE to Toscana. It also featured an endurance race event wherein UAE made a clean sweep in all four races. "Though I have been in contact with Mahesh over more than four years, I never had the opportunity to meet him personally. The UAE Days in Toscana offered me this opportunity. That apart, interaction with the Italian clients was also a wonderful experience. I hope to start forging ties with them soon," Maryse told the Khaleej Times.
Al Shekaili also praised the UAE government for promoting business by organising trips to foreign countries for its entrepreneurs. "I think it's a win-win situation for both UAE and Italian entrepreneurs. The one-to-one interaction with buyers and sellers allowed flexibility on the fixation of price too as the possibility of middlemen is totally ruled out. Hats off to the UAE government for such exposure trips which they conduct year after year," he said.
A seminar titled 'How to make business in UAE' was also conducted. It drew a full house response with more than 100 Italian entrepreneurs in attendance.
Mauro Marzocchi, secretary of Italian Chamber of Commerce in the UAE, termed it a rosy picture for trade ties between the two countries. Italy is the third-ranked European country after Germany and the UK and ahead of France in terms of volume of exports to the UAE. Around ?5.2 billion of exports were registered in 2014 from a total of ?12.5 billion to the Gulf region. Mauro hoped the number will surely increase this year. "With Milan Expo 2015 handing the torch to the UAE, which will host the event in 2020, there is a common link between the two countries. UAE is also in focus as it serves as a world market with several nationals residing there. And above all, even though it is holiday time in Italy, many entrepreneurs turned up for the event which points towards more business," he added.
The UAE, on its part, made a strong presentation portraying itself as a hub for business. Mohammed Matter Al Shamsi of the Khalifa Fund was at hand to clear all doubts on doing business in the UAE. With Saqer Nasser Al Raisi, UAE ambassador in Italy, also pitching in his support, it was music to the ears of every Italian entrepreneurs present.
The business promotion exercise, according to Maurizio Manzati of Emintad, which has firms in Dubai, New York and Hong Kong, will open the UAE doors to new Italian entrepreneurs. "I believe there is no place like UAE to do trade with the government playing a key role in creating a new role for entrepreneurs. So also, Dubai Expo 2020 will also draw more business to UAE and this event is a right step in that direction," he added.

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