*Argentina’s energy minister to visit Doha next month

Qatar and Argentina are set to sign 10 memorandums of understanding (MoU) before the end of this year, covering various fields of bilateral co-operation, Argentinian ambassador Carlos Hernandez has said.

Addressing a press conference on Thursday at Katara – the Cultural Village, the envoy said these MoUs will include co-operation in ports (Qatar Ports Management Company - Mwani Qatar and the Argentinian Under-Secretariat of Ports, Waterways and Merchant Marine) and air transportation.

“We will also sign MoUs for youth, academic (between Qatar University and Buenos Aires University), health, strategic centre studies, libraries (Qatar National Library and Dr Mariano Moreno National Library of Argentina), protection of environment and waste management co-operation,” he explained.

Civil aviation authorities of Qatar and Argentina will also sign an MoU for co-operation on air transportation, which will see a doubling in the number of flights to Argentina.

Hernandez noted that these MoUs, which are under negotiation, form part of the five other agreements and MoUs signed during the recent official visit of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani to Buenos Aires.

“It is a dynamic, very firm, solid, and strong co-operation between Qatar and Argentina, and we will take all necessary measures to make it more dynamic and more efficient,” the envoy stressed.

Besides visa-free entry for Qataris to Argentina, an MoU was also signed on the abolition of visa requirements for holders of diplomatic, private and official passports, Hernandez noted.

He said the two countries signed MoUs for co-operation in the field of education, higher education and science research; agro-industry, livestock, and fisheries; and sports.

There was also a “decoration of His Highness the Amir as Illustrious Guest of the city of Buenos Aires,” which is not given automatically to anyone, according to Hernandez.

He said the visit paved the way for the convening of the second joint meeting of the Qatari-Argentine Committee for Economic and Commercial Co-operation to be held in early December.

“The committee came into existence two years ago and the first meeting took place in Doha towards the end of 2016 and now is the turn to have a second meeting in Buenos Aires, which was asked by the Qatari side,” Hernandez said. “It will tackle point-by-point all related to economy, and trade and investment between the two countries, plus new ideas.”

He expressed optimism that in three to four years, Qatar’s investments in Argentina will double once the ‘promotion and protection investments agreement’, and ‘double taxation avoidance agreement’, are ratified (on the Argentinian side).

The envoy also announced that Argentina’s energy minister will be visiting Qatar next month aimed the further enhancing the two countries trade and investment ties.

Qatar Petroleum made a huge investment this year related to the exploring on unconventional hydrocarbons by acquiring 30% stake in ExxonMobil Argentina, a company with licences to explore the reserves.

“This is important because it is related to the investments of Qatar in Argentina in mining and in the shale oil deposit of Vaca Muerta,” Hernandez said. “Qatar already brought investments there, and the thing is how to be able to increase that.”

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