Italy and Qatar signed a deal on Monday to create a joint venture to invest in "Made in Italy" businesses, from the fashion sector to food, tourism and design, Italy's Strategic Investment Fund (FSI) said.
The "IQ Made in Italy Venture", signed during Prime Minister Mario Monti's visit to the Gulf, will start with a capital of 300 million euros (US$383 million), which will rise to a total of 2 billion euros (US$2.5 billion) over four years.
Qatar Holding and FSI will invest equal amounts and will focus on sectors which "represent Italian excellence and contribute in a decisive way to exports."
IQ will also target sectors "with significant potential to grow and expand internationally," FSI said.
"Whoever thinks that foreign purchases in Italy are third rate is making a big mistake," Monti said during his Qatar visit according to Italian media.
The government's aim is to "attract long-term investments, and we are happy that Italy is able to do just that," he said.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012