MILAN, May 24 (Class Editori) – Since the beginning of the year, foreign companies investing in Qatar have been able to hold a business' 100% share without relying on a local partner. Before this change, in accordance with the ruling from year 2000, they were supposed to stop at the 49% cap. In truth, even today complete ownership must come with the government’s authorization, and specific sectors remain exclusive to Qatar citizens.
The new measure was itnroduced to the public during a conference in Rome, organized by Unindustria in collaboration with Pavia Law Firm and Ansaldo, and sponsored by Qatar Airways. Among the attendees, Gerardo Iamunno, Chairman of the Technical Group for Global Markets and the valorisation of the "Made in Italy" for Unindustria; Pasquale Salzano, Italian Ambassador in Qatar; Abdulaziz Ahmed Almalki Aljehni, Qatar Ambassador in Italy; Giosafat Riganò, Director of ICE (Italian Institute for Foreign Commerce) in Qatar; Stefano Nicoletti, Head of Internationalization Office for Businesses; Roberto Santori, Chairman of the Advisory, Professional Activities and Training Services; and Alessandro Comini, Of Counsel Attorney for Pavia Law Firm and Ansaldo.
"Qatar has the highest GDP in the world, doubling even its neighbor the UAE's results. It is also a country trying to diversify its economy. It's not all about natural gas anymore – even while holding tight to the third position in the chart of countries with the most reserves (coming after Russia and Iran), and leading the liquefied natural gas race, " said Ambassador Salzano to Class Editori.
In the last few years, Doha paid development due attention, and encouraged pooling of private and foreign investments in a variety of sectors, including petrochemical, financial, welfare, healthcare, scientific research, and education.
Against this backdrop, Italy makes for a fantastic partner. As Salzano pointed out, despite the strained relationship with some Gulf countries, and during the first stage of the embargo enforced by Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt, Qatar could tackle the food crisis thanks to Italian freezing technologies, thus managing to better conserve food.
Actually, the Ambassador noted that the food sector remains a driving force. During Premier Giuseppe Conte's last visit to Doha, Coldiretti reached an agreement with Lulu group for the distribution of FAI (Italian Agricultural Sector) branded products in the Emirate and other regional countries' supermarkets.
In 2018, trades produced 2.6 billion euro, up 23.2% against the year before. And it is not just the bigger groups – as Salini, Saipem, Fincantieri, or Eni – who are doing business in the Emirate. "SMEs as well as Italian craftsmen can find operating space," noted Salzano. "Yet we must focus on the quality of our services. Qatar's customers have high spending capacity and can be very demanding. If we want to beat the competition, we must provide continuative services, something more than a simple once-over orders and product sales".
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