Qatar Review

Argentina imported LNG worth $400 million from Qatar in 2012

Argentina imported LNG worth $400 million from Qatar in 2012

Qatar’s 2013 LNG exports to Argentina top $1 billion

Talks are being held with major oil and gas companies in Qatar to boost energy co-operation between the two countries. While Qatar needs food sources that Argentina could provide, Argentina needs the energy which Qatar is exporting

A RGENTINA’S LNG imports from Qatar reached an all-time high worth $1 billion in 2013 and is set to increase further in the coming years, a senior Argentine official says.

Agustin Wydler, Argentina’s Undersecretary for Investment Development and Trade Promotion, says while imports from Qatar were huge in terms of money mainly because of the LNG supplies, Argentina’s volume of trade with Qatar, on the other hand, amounted to just around $5 million.

He also adds that talks are being held with major oil and gas companies in Qatar to boost energy co-operation between the two countries. “We are having some important conversations with Qatargas during our visit here,” he says. The senior Argentine official was speaking to the media on the sidelines of ‘business rounds’. Wydler is part of the Argentine trade mission led by Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship Hector Timerman which visited Qatar. Timerman met senior Qatari officials, including the Minister of Energy and Industry, Dr Mohamed bin Saleh Al Sada. The multi-sector commercial delegation comprises more than 30 Argentine companies.

About the imbalance of trade between the two countries, Wydler says, “In 2012, we imported (LNG from Qatar worth) around $400 million and in 2013, this totalled more than $1 billion. On the other hand, we are exporting to Qatar only around $4 million or $5 million (worth of goods). So our trade relation is very unbalanced. We are trying to balance this with opportunities in other key sectors in Argentina such as food and beverage, etc”.

The Argentine official says while Qatar needed food sources that Argentina could provide, Argentina needed the energy which Qatar is exporting. “Our economies can complement each other further,” he says.

He says that Argentine officials are quite keen to provide opportunities with the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) in their country.

He reveals that Hassad food had already made some indirect investments in Argentina which they hoped would increase further.

“Qatar has a strong policy to ensure its food security. Argentina is actually one of the most important countries in Latin America in the food and beverage sector. We are 40 million people, yet we have the capacity to produce food for 400 million people, so our country has a lot of potential.

“Hassad food has a subsidiary in Australia and we are trying to have a similar arrangement in Argentina as well,” Wydler adds.

The main aim of the Argentine foreign minister and his trade mission is to introduce Argentine companies to their counterparts in Qatar and see opportunities for partnerships and joint investments.

“The main purpose is to follow up on the visit made by our president in 2011. We have 20 of the best companies from Argentina here in Qatar,” he says. The companies include 11 from the food and beverage sector, two from animal feed sector, two pharmaceutical companies, two from construction and other sectors.

The official also says a treaty between the two countries would also be signed to set up a bilateral government-to-government commission by next year to enhance their economic relations.

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