An Interview With H. E. Domenico Bellato, Ambassador (Italy)

On the special occasion of Bahrain’s National Day, Gulf Insider takes a closer look at relationships between Bahrain and some of its major trading partners.

What are your country’s main trading activities with Bahrain?

Italy has a longstanding presence in Bahrain and its technologies and expertise largely contributed to the development of the industrial assets of Bahrain, in the Oil&Gas and petrochemical sectors. Nowadays, major Italian companies are taking part in the most relevant Bahraini industrial projects and are interested in exploring further opportunities. Trade between Italy and Bahrain grew from 2004 to 2016 reaching a peak of € 386 million (€ 263 million Italian export to Bahrain and €123 million imports from Bahrain to Italy). The bulk of our exports lies on mechanical engineering, machinery for industry, automotive, fashion, furniture, food products. Imports from Bahrain consist mainly of refined products and metals (aluminum).

What makes your country’s relationship with Bahrain special?

I think that the relationship between Italy and Bahrain is special because of the love we share for quality and beauty, which underpins the widespread appreciation of Italian design, fashion and cuisine. Another pillar is culture. Of course, a direct flight between our countries would be a game changer in this endeavor.

Any interesting news, recent or historical, about your country’s relations with Bahrain?

It is worthwhile recalling the pivotal role played by an Italian diplomat, Ambassador Vittorio Winspeare Guicciardi, in the process leading to the independence of Bahrain. In 1970 he was appointed UN Secretary-General’s Personal Representative to assess the wish of the people of Bahrain on their country’s status. He carried out his task coming to Bahrain and meeting the representatives of all sectors of the Bahraini society, concluding that the overwhelming majority of the people of Bahrain wished to live in a fully independent and sovereign state. His report was approved by the UN Security Council, paving the way for the recognition of Bahrain’s identity, sovereignty and independence. What a meaningful example of the special bond that exists between Italy and Bahrain!

Any short message for our readers on Bahrain’s National Day?

I wish the very best to the Leadership and to the people of Bahrain for their National Day, which is an occasion to gather in the name of the common belonging to a Nation which is getting impressive results from all the points of view.