Collaboration is key to robust business ecosystem amid Covid, says Italian chamber official
January 18 2021 09:35 PM
From left: W Hotel Doha general manager Wassem Dagher, Servcorp senior manager Fabienne Hajar, Itali
From left: W Hotel Doha general manager Wassem Dagher, Servcorp senior manager Fabienne Hajar, Italian ambassador Alessandro Prunas, and Italian Chamber of Commerce president Palma Libotte during ‘The Supper Club’ networking event organised by the chamber’s ‘Back2Business’ team. PICTURE: Shaji Kayamkulam

Collaboration among business groups and chambers of commerce will play a vital role in assuring that local companies continue to operate effectively and efficiently amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the president of the Doha-based Italian Chamber of Commerce said.
“I think that for 2021, business associations and chambers of commerce should work closely with local companies to update them constantly on market needs, as well as to select and encourage suitable international firms to expand their footprint in Qatar.
“As it will be more difficult to travel, foreign companies may be less inclined to explore new markets, therefore our role to encourage them will be crucial being market experts and cultural savvy expats living in Doha,” Palma Libotte told Gulf Times on the sidelines of ‘The Supper Club’, a regular business networking event held Sunday at the W Hotel Doha.
Libotte further said, “The Italian Chamber of Commerce, for this purpose, has changed its operations and is now working as a business coach for Qatari companies on select projects that involve Italian products or companies. We suggest a minimum period of three months where we share all our expertise and networks in Italy to support bilateral business relations.
“We are now working on a fashion project that involves a Qatari and an Italian designer, and a tourism project to develop tours for VIPs and special delegations to give a business and cultural insight of Qatar to important visitors.”
Libotte also underscored the significance of business networking, saying that these events provide stakeholders and major players with industry updates and insights, as well as new contacts in key sectors “in a more relaxed atmosphere” that encourages to foster business relationships.
She said ‘The Supper Club’, which is organised by the chamber’s ‘Back2Business’ team and supported by Servcorp, has made several rounds in select restaurants across Doha, such as La Spiga, Al Messila Resort, La Veranda, and Di Capri – La Cigale, and soon in La Mar.
Libotte noted that ‘The Supper Club’ offers a platform to meet professionals and decision makers operating in the Qatari market, as well as diplomats and Qatari business representatives.
“The Back2Business network is huge as this is has been the most successful international business networking event in Doha for the past 15 years with over 500 participants in each edition,” Libotte explained.
 She said, “The Supper Club events are meant to keep the business community engaged, as much as possible getting ready for the final rush that will precede the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
“The international business community is warming up for the exciting years in front of us, and we are all tremendously eager to participate in this wonderful, once-in-a-lifetime experience in 2022.”
Speaking on the end of the Gulf crisis, Libotte stressed that the show of support extended by Qatar’s GCC neighbours for the 2022 FIFA World Cup “is a message of positivity” that would encourage more people to visit and develop business in the region.
“The 2022 FIFA World Cup is an important occasion to showcase to the world the culture and the beauty of Qatar and the region; and it will narrow the gap between East and West, break many stereotypes, and bring a lot of enjoyment for football fans. We have to work closely as an international community to support Qatar in this important event,” Libotte emphasised.

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