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Italian food, agro exports to Qatar up 9.2% in H1 2020 despite pandemic, says envoy

Peter Alagos

Sunday، 04 October 2020 09:05 PM

Italy recorded a 9.2% surge in its food and agro-related exports to Qatar in H1 2020 despite the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic’s impact on the global economy, Italian ambassador Alessandro Prunas said Sunday.
Prunas made the statement in a speech following the official launch of "Let's Eatalian - Authentically Italian Products Promotion in Qatar 2020-2021" at LuLu Hypermarket – Al Messila, held in the presence of Dr Mohamed Althaf, director of LuLu Hypermarket, Qatar, and other officials.
The year-long promotion, organised by the Italian Trade Agency (ITA), in collaboration with LuLu Hypermarket, aims to increase the sales of Italian food products in Qatar, and will run until September 2021.
“This partnership is very important for us because despite the challenges of Covid-19 around the world, our food and agriculture exports to Qatar increased by 9.2% in the first six months of this year.
“So, if under these circumstances we managed to have our exports increase by 9.2%, what more during normal conditions? This is a very exciting partnership, and we look forward to developing this bond further with LuLu Hypermarket,” Prunas said.
Althaf stressed that LuLu recorded an increase in demand for Italian food products in the region, citing “high safety standards” and “excellent quality” because of Italy’s diverse region and wide range of products.
“Since we started our trade relations with Italy, we have been able to take our partnership forward by bringing the most authentic, 100% Italian-made products to consumers in Qatar and the rest of the region,” Althaf said.
Althaf also lauded the ITA, which is the Trade Promotion Section of the Italian Embassy in Qatar, for offering to partner with LuLu in sourcing out and networking with leading Italian companies.
According to Althaf, LuLu executives and ITA officials in Qatar covered more than 2,000kms to meet with farmers and producers across Italy, giving the hypermarket giant “insight on the huge potential for the Italian food industry.”
As a part of strengthening the “longstanding business relations” with Italy, Althaf said LuLu had dedicated an “Italian corner” in most of its hypermarkets in the region, as well as in its new outlets.
“LuLu has added more than a thousand Italian products to its shelves since this partnership,” Althaf said, citing company data.
Addressing the participants of Sunday’s launching ceremony, ITA trade commissioner Giosafat Rigano assured that Italy’s partnership with LuLu will open more opportunities to boost the supply of Italian products in the hypermarket’s points of sale in Doha, and to increase the number of products available in their portfolio.
In an earlier statement, the ITA also stated: “LuLu buyers will be offered the opportunity to select new products through the new digital business platforms recently created by CIBUS and MACFRUT, as well as through trade missions to Italy, organised by Italian Trade Agency at the most important Italian food and beverage trade exhibitions between the second semester of 2020 and the first six months of 2021.”

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