Trade between the United Arab Emirates and Italy grew by 27 per cent in the first six months of 2012, and bilateral trade between the two countries increased to 5 billion euros in 2011 amidst expectations to increase further in the year. First secretary and deputy head of the Italian Embassy to the UAE Christian Lungarotti told the (Gulf News) daily in an interview that trade exchanges favored Italy which exported 4.7 billion Euros to the UAE and it imported commodities worth 300 million euros from the UAE in 2011. Lungarotti pointed out that joint ventures, economic cooperation and investments are on a trajectory to increase further throughout this year. He said that the UAE is Italy’s second-biggest trading partner in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). He expressed Italy's keenness to further boost our cooperation in trade, investment, tourism, industry, agriculture, financial services and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and intellectual property rights. He noted that the Italian prime minister will be paying a visit to the UAE in November 2012 to enhance joint ventures, foster relationships and bilateral relations. Many Italian and UAE businessmen representing various sectors such as renewable energy, pharmaceutical, real estate, and fashion held talks to further cement ties and increase economic cooperation. Speaking about the products exported from the UAE to Italy, the Italian official said that Italy is the main market for exports for the UAE at the present time with respect to manufacturing and agro-food. Real estate is also growing at a steady pace allowing for Italian products to take up more of the market. Italy also exchange information and expertise in Agro-food industry, fisheries and irrigation to solve the issue of food security in both nations.