Italian Design Day Launched in Qatar

Italian Foreign Affairs Minister Angelino Alfano yesterday launched ‘Italian Design Day in the World 2018’ in Qatar, which he said is among the countries where “demand for Italian design is very strong.”


In its second edition, Italian Design Day in the World is celebrated in 100 cities around the world during which architects, designers, entrepreneurs, journalists, academics, critics and communicators present the tradition and the excellence of Italian design.

Delivering the keynote speech at a conference at Msheireb Enrichment Centre yesterday, Alfano said launching the Italian Design Day abroad was due to the great demand for Italian design abroad which is a huge driver of the supply of Italian design products.

“I am extremely happy to be here with you – in Qatar – to launch the Italian Design Day in the World 2018…In particular, I have decided to come here in Qatar, because the demand for Italian design is very strong in the Gulf, especially among the middle class. In Qatar alone, between 2016 and 2017, we witnessed a 6 percent rise in the export of design products. Today, 25 percent of our exports to Qatar relate to the design sector,” said Alfano.

He said Qataris’ penchant for Italian design is also reflected on the “great interest among Qatari businesses in the Salone del Mobile di Milano (Milan Interior Design and Furniture Exhibition) which will run from April  17 to 22.”

The Italian Foreign Minister underlined the enormous potential of design in propelling  economic growth. “Italian companies alone represent over one-third of the sector’s global revenue, which amount to €100b a year.

Moreover, Italian design exports amount to more than €20b and are on a continuous uptrend.”

He spoke on the capacity of design to fuse culture and creativity with beauty, functionality and sustainability while also producing wealth.

Italian Foreign Affairs Minister Angelino Alfano  said:“Italy is a country with few natural resources. Our economy has grown without oil, gold, diamonds or other major resources. Investing in culture and promoting creativity (key elements of design) are the primary sources of our prosperity. So, I am convinced that from the vitality of design we can continue to draw a lot of inspiration for our growth and our development.

He also underlined that design is an important pillar of Italy’s economic diplomacy and that Italy’s economic diplomacy has been promoting a multidisciplinary and highly integrated strategy for the promotion of Made in Italy, which has been called the “Italian Way of Life”.

“I hope that this kind of an approach will contribute – also here in Qatar – to spark and launch new initiatives together, capable of giving new momentum to our already excellent bilateral relations, also thanks to the great work carried out by our Embassy,” he said.

As Italy considers culture as ‘fourth pillar of sustainable development”, an ambitious cultural programme had been developed called “Italy, Culture, Mediterranean” which embraces the Gulf region with several initiatives in Qatar, he said.

Held at Msheireb Enrichment Centre, the conference was hosted by Msheireb Properties, developer of Msheireb Downtown Doha (MDD) and featured architect designer Dario Curatolo  who flew directly from Italy to give a presentation on this year’s theme linking design and sustainability.

Italian Ambassador to Qatar H E Pasquale Salzano, said: “This emblematic location, Msheireb Enrichment Centre, is an ideal setting for conference on Italian Design Day as  Msheireb Downtown Doha Project  is the first national developer of sustainable and innovative projects inspired by Qatar’s unique heritage.  Thanks to the vison of H H Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, this cutting edge example of a regeneration project was developed in the heart of Doha. From the streets oriented to catch the gulf breeze to the photovoltaic solar panels and a goal of 32 percent of energy reduction , Msheireb is bringing new vitality to Doha’s downtown.”

Ali Al Kuwari, Msheireb Properties Acting CEO said: “We are proud to be part of the worldwide events celebrating “Italian Design Day”, which highlights the relationship between design and sustainability. We are very happy to collaborate with the Italian Embassy and host their important event as sustainability and design are keys to our flagship project, Msheireb Downtown Doha (MDD), a development that is able to achieve a new, distinctly Qatari architectural language that reflects the heritage of art and culture.”

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