In the margins of a visit of Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti to the Gulf countries, the Fondo Strategico Italiano Spa (FSI) – the holding company controlled by the Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) – and Qatar Holding LLC (QH) signed an agreement today to set up a joint venture named « IQ Made in Italy Venture ». The jv will have a total capital of up to € 2 billion, to be equally provided by FSI and QH over the first 4 years, with € 300 million at inception. The jv will invest in Italian companies that are key contributors to Italy’s exports. The arrival of foreign investment is the recognition of Italy’s efforts to put its public finances on a healthier footing and of the reforms already carried out, said Prime Minister Monti during a press conference after a meeting with the Prime Minister of Qatar, Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani. « Foreign investment will have an immediate effect on growth. There will be more reforms in future which will further increase the attractiveness of Italy, but already now we can see that Italy has become a more attractive investment location,” he said recalling that « more than ever, there is a strong competition in the world to attract stable and durable investment” because of the crisis.