(MENAFN- The Peninsula) Doha: A growing number of Italian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the food & beverage industry are looking to Qatar for their global expansion, with hopes to get the right exposure and be at the right place in history during the FIFA World Cup next year, Italian Ambassador to Qatar H E Alessandro Prunas has said.
Speaking to The Peninsula on the sidelines of the opening of the 6th edition of Hospitality Qatar 2021 at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center (DECC) yesterday, Prunas said most of the companies exhibiting their products at the Italian pavilion are SMEs and family-run businesses which have been honing their crafts for generations.
As many as 16 Italian companies from the food sector are showcasing their products across a 180sqm area, which is one of the biggest pavilions at the expo this year and overseen by the Italian Trade Agency (ITA) – the Trade Promotion Section of the Italian Embassy in Qatar. From a gentleman from Sicily producing pasta sauces, to other small businesses producing the finest Italian coffee beans, all the exhibitors have been successful in growing their brands back home and are now looking to expand internationally, with the Qatari market as their launching pad.
“Some of them cater to restaurants and local outlets in Italy. And as they grow they decide to start venturing into the world. And the reason they choose Qatar is very simple. It's not just about selling their products during the World Cup next year, but it's also about getting the right exposure. The whole world will be here watching, eating, and more. For them, it is crucial to be placed at this time in history here in Qatar,” said Prunas.
The Italian pavilion is also showcasing the second edition of“Breakfast Made in Italy”, a concept by the Italian Confederation of Craft Trades and SMEs (CNA) developed to promote the authentic taste of traditional Italian breakfast. The format aims at fostering the tastes and rituals of authentic Italian breakfast abroad through the internationalisation of the sector's companies.
“As the FIFA World Cup comes closer, Hospitality Qatar is the perfect opportunity for Italian suppliers to display the latest products and services for the hotel, restaurant, and catering (Horeca) sector, which are key to the success of any major event,” added Prunas.
In September, trade volume between Qatar and Italy increased by 51.9% compared to the same period in 2020, reaching €1.96bn. In Q3 2021, Qatar's total imports from Italy stood at €853m, an increase of 26% compared to the same period in 2020, placing Italy in 6th place among Qatar's supplier countries. In the agri-food sector, Qatar's imports from Italy recorded an increase of 1.2% in the third quarter of 2021, for a total value of €34m.
According to ITA Trade Commissioner Augusta Smargiassi, B2B meetings are planned between the Italian exhibitors and their counterparts in Qatar.
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