'Qatar is the winner in the illegal blockade'
June 04 2019 11:29 PM
Argentina's ambassador Carlos Hernandez.
Argentina's ambassador Carlos Hernandez.

Qatar is clearly the winner in “the illegitimate and illegal blockade” imposed on it two years ago, further strengthening bilateral ties with various countries like Argentina, ambassador Carlos Hernandez has said. “This was not an act of luck but the consequence of the incredible vision that Qatari authorities have,” the envoy told Gulf Times.

“That’s why I don’t agree when people talk about the “Qatari crisis” with a negative connotation, because if it was considered like that at the beginning, the strategy taken by Qatar and its people shows it ended up being an opportunity,” Hernandez stressed, adding that Qatar found new horizons and partners like Argentina.

He noted that such opportunity witnessed bilateral relations between the two countries soared: from sports, health and education, and investments mainly on areas like infrastructure, mining, gas, communications, renewable energies, oil and tourism. Qatar Petroleum (QP) signed an agreement to acquire a 30% stake in two of Exxon’s affiliates in Argentina, giving the Qatari company access to oil and gas shale assets, according to the envoy.

Last month, he added that QP also won exploration rights in five offshore blocks in the North Argentina and Malvinas West basins.

Argentina’s Minister of Foreign Affairs visited Qatar in December 2018, together with business delegates and other government officials. In May, the embassy organised a visit of representatives from 12 companies specialising in food, agriculture, livestock, fodder, hospitality and other sectors, and they left with contacts and, in some cases, signed agreements.

"Argentina is a renowned global leader in the food market, capable of contributing even further to food security, and Qatar is a relevant food importer, which makes it a very attractive market for us," the envoy noted. Hernandez lauded Qatar’s efforts to step up several economic reforms, particularly in trade and investments, in the face of the blockade, saying “it’s the natural consequence to achieve economic diversification in accordance with the Qatar National Vision 2030.”

“Argentina and Qatar are strategic partners. The revision to the previously existing laws to attract foreign capital in all sectors of the national economy and the changes to facilitate investor entry into the market and increase confidence in investment security, was a positive development for Qatar,” he said. “These reforms could only attract foreign capital inflows and accelerate the development in all economic and commercial activities, which is what people can see every day, with new businesses, new companies, new Qatari products that weren’t produced here two years ago, from cucumbers, dairy products, to detergents,” Hernandez pointed out. “This shows that people are trusting Qatar, investing here, while the economy in the siege countries is not as prosperous as the Qatari one,” he added.

“I was not in Doha when the blockade started, but I can say as a person who arrived last year, that this doesn’t seem to be a country affected in any way by any foreign measure. Supermarkets and shops are full and you can find anything you want here,” Hernandez added.

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