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Posted On: 3 October 2018 09:00 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:01 pm

Qatar and Paraguay to establish new partnerships

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His Highness (H.H.) The Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani's tour in a number of countries in South America continues with a visit to the Republic of Paraguay, the third stop following two successful visits to the Republic of Ecuador and the Republic of Peru.

H.H. The Amir's tour, which also includes the fourth and final stop in the Argentine Republic, builds on the previous two trips to the continent's countries in 2015 and 2016. They are a reflection of the commitment of H.H. to establish new partnerships for Qatar in dozens of vital sectors with those countries.

The visit of H.H. The Amir to the Republic of Paraguay is a big step towards enhancing ties between the two countries and peoples, as it opens the door for new partnerships in the economic and commerce fields. There will also be strategic investments that could cross the borders of both countries in the food product sector, as that sector have all the requirements to establish broad and strong partnerships.

H.H. The Amir's meetings with His Excellency (H.E.) President of the Republic of Paraguay Mario Abdo Benitez and senior officials will discuss bilateral relations and exchange views on various regional and international issues of joint interest. This reflects the commitment of H.H. The Amir to opening new scopes for the Qatari economy, to serve its 2030 national vision, in addition to building the strongest ties with countries from all over the world.

The State of Qatar and the Republic of Paraguay began ties in 2002, when the permanent representatistrategic investmentsves of the two countries to the United Nations in New York signed a joint statement on establishing diplomatic ties. The State of Qatar's embassy in Asuncion was established in 2012. Paraguay for its part opened its embassy in Doha two years later.

Relations between the two countries have been witnessing an exchange of visits from leading officials. H.H. The Father Amir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani paid an official visit to the Republic of Paraguay in August 2010. His Excellency (H.E.) Special Envoy of the President of the Republic of Paraguay Ambassador Alejandro Hamed Franco visited Qatar in 2009.

H.H. the Amir met in September last year with former President of the Republic of Paraguay Horacio Manuel Cartes at the headquarters of the Permanent Delegation of the State of Qatar to the United Nations on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. H.E. The President expressed his happiness with meeting H.H. The Amir. His Excellency also expressed hope that the meeting would be repeated. They discussed bilateral relations and ways to strengthen them during the meeting.

On 11 February 2018, H.E. Minister of Economy and Commerce Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassem bin Mohammed Al Thani met with H.E. Minister of Industry and Commerce of Paraguay Gustavo Leite. During the meeting, they signed an agreement to promote and protect mutual investments between the two countries. They also discussed bilateral relations and the scope for enhancing cooperation, especially in economic fields.

May also saw the two sides' Ministry of Foreign Affairs hold a round of political consultations in Asuncion. The Qatari side was chaired by H.E. Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Sultan bin Saad Al Muraikhi. H.E. Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs for Paraguay Federico Gonzalez chaired the Paraguayan side in the meeting. The two sides discussed bilateral relations and the means to enhance them. They also discussed a number of issues of joint interest.

The State of Qatar and the Republic of Paraguay have a number of agreements and memorandums of understanding. This included an agreement on economic, commercial and technical cooperation, an agreement on the promotion and protection of mutual investments between the two countries, and a memorandum of understanding for consultation between the two foreign ministries.

Paraguay is a landlocked country located in the middle of Latin America between Argentina, Brazil and Bolivia. It has an area of more than 400,000 square kilometers, with a population of about seven million, with the Paraguayan River running through it from North to South.

In recent years, Paraguay has come to the fore, with many of its economic successes being cited as a regional success story. When the fall in world commodity prices in the past decade destabilized the neighboring economic giants Brazil and Argentina, Paraguay's stable economy and government fiscal policies helped overcome that crisis and maintain sustainable growth. Average annual GDP growth for the last decade was 4.8, driven by strong agricultural exports, hydroelectricity and a rapidly expanding industrial base.

The key to Paraguay's economic success has been to diversify the country's economic base beyond its traditional dependence on agricultural exports, boosting industrial activity to 9.5 percent of GDP in 2017. Agriculture is the core population, with 47 percent employed, Paraguay's land is one of the most fertile areas for agriculture in South America. The arable land is more than 1 million hectares, and currently only 5 million are cultivated.

Paraguay's strong economic growth is based on several factors, foremost of which are commodity exports, the world's fourth-largest exporter of soybeans and the sixth largest source of maize, one of the world's largest hydropower producers, one-fourth of which is generated by one of the world's largest dams, The Itaipu dam, jointly owned and operated by the Governments of Paraguay and Brazil. The country's gross domestic product (GDP) last year was about $ 68 billion, the export value was $ 11.5 billion and the main exports were soybeans, fodder, cotton, edible oils, timber, leather and gold.

The government has identified four areas as key economic engines for growth. They are the exporting of food products, building new factories, transforming Paraguay into a regional logistics hub, and promoting investment in forests and green energy.

Paraguay currently produces food for 80 million people, mostly meat, corn and soybeans. But the government plans to triple that figure, making Paraguay one of the world's major food baskets. Currently, it exports about 300,000 tons of beef annually to 73 markets around the world.

More than 150 companies have been operating in Paraguay since 2013, producing everything from auto parts to shoes and games. According to economic reports, foreign investors are following Paraguay's economic developments and flocking to them as a result of convincing incentives including tax breaks, the possibility of full restoration of capital and profit, and equal rights for foreign investors and local firms.

Cover Image: The Flag Shop and Source: QNA