H E Dr Mohamed bin Saleh Al Sada, Minister of Energy and Industry, with Héctor Marcos Timerman, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Argentina, in Doha yesterday.
BY MOHAMMAD SHOEB
DOHA: Argentina is seeking Qatari support to build a new LNG terminal to enhance the country’s gas receiving capacity from Qatar. The visiting Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship, Héctor Timerman, yesterday held meetings with Qatari authorities, including
H E Dr Mohamed bin Saleh Al Sada, the Minister of Energy and Industry, and discussed some important areas of mutual cooperation, said a senior Argentine ministry official.
A 30-member high level trade mission representing top 20 companies, under the leadership of Timerman, is here on a two-day visit to explore investment opportunities.
“We have plans to build more LNG terminals in Argentina and for that we are having conversations with Qatargas and other organisations such as QIA to foster gas imports from Qatar,” said Agustin Wydler, Under Secretary for Investment Development and Trade Promotion at the ministry.
Timerman, senior members of his accompanying delegation and the Argentine Ambassador to Qatar, Rossana Surballe also met with senior officials from Qatargas and Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) to attract Qatari investments in different sectors, such as energy, food and agriculture.
Wydler, while speaking with The Peninsula, said QIA is seriously looking forward to make big investments in Argentina, particularly in the infrastructure and agriculture sector.
“We have several infrastructure projects in the pipeline, and one of them may be related to Qatar,” he said.
According to Wydler, the volume of bilateral trade between Qatar and Argentina in 2013 increased by 150 percent to QR3.64bn ($1bn) compared to QR1.46bn ($400m) in 2012.
“Argentina has an unbalanced trade relation with Qatar as we source a lot of LNG from here. In 2013, we imported gas worth about $1bn from Qatar, while the value of our exports to the Gulf-state was merely about $5m. So we are keen to reduce the trade gap by increasing our exports,” he said.
The Latin American country is boosting gas imports as local production is declining due to limited exploration and maturing fields. At the same time, according to reports, the level of gas consumption surged 33 percent to an average of 126 million cubic metres per day in 2012 from
Argentina boasts of having a well developed food and beverage industry, which is here to attract Qatari investments for mutual benefits.
“The commercial mission is here to foster investments from Qatar. We are going to meet members of Qatari business community, including from Hassad Food. We intend to discuss some attractive projects,” Wydler added.
“Hassad Food has some indirect investments in our country through their subsidiaries, but there are many untapped opportunities.”