Lulu Hypermarket contributed significantly to the spike in trade between Qatar and Italy this year.
Qatar’s trade volume with Italy has seen a 38% increase during the first half of 2020 compared to the same period last year, officials revealed.
Ambassador of Italy to Qatar Alessandro Prunas told local news outlet The Peninsula that food import from the European country to the Gulf Nation has also witnessed a steady growth in recent months.
Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, Italian Trade Commissioner to Qatar Giosafat Rigano said that the overall trade between both countries reached 1.2 billion during the first half of this year, marking a 37.5% increase compared to last year.
He explained that the Italy to Qatar import of machinery increased 45%, furniture 42%, and fashion brands 41%.
“From the aspect of agri-food, the growth of Italian exports to Qatar recorded 3% (increase) accounting to 30 million,” said Rigano.
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This comes as a Lulu business facility is slated to open in Milan next month.
Ambassador Prunas added that the strong relationship between the Italian Trade Commission and Lulu Hypermarket has significantly contributed to increasing imports of food items from Italy to Qatar’s shelves.
“The Commission facilitated in signing of an agreement between Lulu and Italian farmers’ association ‘Coldiretti’ which enabled Lulu to directly access high-quality agricultural products at cheaper prices,” the official said.
The Lulu facility, he added, aims to enable the Qatari company to “dig deep in the market” to find high-quality products to enhance trade volume.
In addition, Lulu’s partnership with farmers’ association ‘Coldiretti’ in Italy aided the company in finding high-quality products from local farmers without too many intermediaries.
Rigano said that thanks to the Coldiretti agreement, Lulu Hypermarket ordered Italian food products worth millions in just one year.
“We are going ahead to include all Italian products in import list which focused mostly on Coldiretti products.”
Both officials stressed that the new facility will provide a boost to Italy-Qatar trade and will serve as a turning point in enhancing bilateral trade relations.
According to the Director of Lulu Group International Dr. Mohamed Althaf, the facility in Milan is “almost ready” and is expected to start full operations next month. When it opens, the facility will serve as a smart manufacturing and export processing unit, he added.
“It will help in fulfilling import requirements of Qatar such as Halal certification, stringent quality standards, foreign testing, translation of labels, repackaging and a lot of other value additions.”