The Emir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani met Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta yesterday. They discussed bilateral relations and other issues of common concern. The meeting was attended by the Prime Minister and Interior Minister H E Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani.
A high-level Qatari delegation will visit Italy soon to explore investment opportunities in key sectors, including the Italian energy giant Eni and an Islamic museum in Venice.
Addressing a joint press conference with visiting Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta yesterday, HE the Minister of Energy and Industry Dr Mohamed bin Saleh al-Sada said the Qatari side was “happy” to invest in the Italian market in key sectors.
“We are happy to say that a delegation from the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) will visit Italy shortly to meet directly with key people at different sectors there and explore possible investments,” al-Sada announced.
He highlighted the importance of partnership with oil companies and construction contractors between the two countries. “The potential of partnership with oil companies and construction contractors are of high priority on our side in Qatar and we encourage partnership in these fields,” he said.
About co-operation in the energy field, al-Sada said that Qatar had a long-term contract for LNG supply to Italy. “We have a consolidated commitment for the supply of energy to Italy. We have a long-term contract of 25 years to supply LNG to Italy.”
He expressed his satisfaction at the “very reliable supply” and excellent relationship between Qatari and Italian companies. “We are open to further co-operation and possibility of further energy supply to Italy.” Al-Sada said that he was hopeful that Qatar Airways would be given more access in Italy, especially for its cargo operations. “We have a long-term relationship with Italy in all aspects. This very solid foundation between our two countries is of great importance to build this relationship further.” Prime Minister Letta said that his discussions with Qatar’s energy minister explored the future of Eni.
“We discussed the possibility of Qatari investments in the Eni capital,” he said. The premier discussed the possibility of strengthening the role of the Rovigo gas terminal in Italy that is dependent on gas supplied by Qatar. “We also discussed many other fields linked to important companies like Finmeccanica, Selex,etc.”
Speaking about investment opportunities and ideas discussed with Qatari officials, the premier revealed that both sides had agreed to explore the idea of building an Islamic museum in Venice’s Grand Canal as part of a long-term Qatari investment.
Another project he underlined was a Qatari hospital in the north-eastern city of Olbia that was worst-hit by a cyclone last November. “This is a very important Qatari investment that we are welcoming through which we would like to support Olbia,” he said.
Letta said that both sides discussed how they could co-operate in helping Qatar host a very successful FIFA World Cup in 2022.
“We think Italy can contribute to the success of the world championship event in Qatar. We can help and be present here with all our logistics and infrastructure companies.” He hoped that the projects discussed during his trip would see the next steps after “deeper evaluations” are complete.