The Business Year

Graciela Gómez García

QATAR - Diplomacy

Graciela Gómez García

Ambassador of Mexico to Qatar,

Bio

Graciela Gómez García is a career diplomat with more than 30 years of experience. Since 2019, she has been the Ambassador of Mexico to Qatar, the first woman to serve in this position. Prior to this, she was deputy consul general of Mexico in Boston for six years. Her professional portfolio encompasses various positions at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Mexico City as well as diplomatic postings in Switzerland and the UK. She holds an MBA in international relations from El Colegio de Mexico, a master’s in diplomatic studies from the Diplomatic School of Madrid, an MPhil in European studies from the University of Cambridge, and a specialized diploma in intelligence and national security.

Qatar is currently Mexico's fourth-largest commercial partner in the Middle East, but there is potential to do much more in several up-and-coming sectors.

How does the embassy enhance the promotion of trade and investment relations between both countries?

Qatar and Mexico are natural partners whose economies are complementary. There is great potential to build on our competitive advantages to increase trade, investments, and joint ventures. The embassy plays a pivotal role in two strategic areas: economic intelligence in terms of identifying opportunities based on demand and competitive advantages and providing analytical information about how to conduct business in Mexico; and connecting business communities and enhancing dialogue between entrepreneurs, investors, and innovators. We encourage and support trade missions and the presence of Mexican exporters in Qatari fairs and exhibitions. In 2021, bilateral trade recovered some of its pre-pandemic dynamism, reaching a value of USD157.4 million, a 29% increase compared to 2020. Qatar is currently the fourth commercial partner of Mexico in the Middle East, but there is potential to do much better. During the first trimester of 2022, three trade missions have taken place both ways. In March, agro exporters from the state of Querétaro visited Doha, and few weeks later, a high-level business delegation headed by Mexico’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Marcelo Ebrard, fulfilled a comprehensive agenda of meetings with Qatari entities and private counterparts in sectors such as construction, agriculture, energy, technological innovation, and investment funds. We are already working on a comprehensive program for the rest of the year.

Which sectors are prominent for the promotion of a sustainable commercial exchange?

Qatar and Mexico are transitioning toward fully-fledged knowledge-based economies. The challenge is to further promote trade in well-established sectors while encouraging opportunities to innovate and weave alliances in areas yet to be explored. I foresee Mexican exports of high added-value agricultural products and advanced manufacturing continuing to grow in the future. There is ample room for highly specialized services in priority areas for Qatar, such as cultivation techniques in arid zones, organic agriculture, water treatment, clean energies, e-health, and logistics. Qatar is constantly on the lookout for cutting-edge service providers in areas ranging from architectural, industrial, and scientific design to information technology that could be fulfilled by Mexican companies. We are also looking into direct flights between Mexico City and Doha, which will contribute to increase tourism, business as well as closer relations between our societies.

What benefits will a bilateral agreement on agriculture between the two countries bring?

The agreement is the expression of our shared determination to improve cooperation for the benefit of our respective populations. The objective is to promote food security and strengthen collaboration between Mexico and Qatar in areas of mutual interest such as agriculture, livestock, fisheries and aquaculture. It takes into consideration that food and agricultural production; trade and research are common priorities and aims to guarantee that agricultural and livestock producers in our two countries have access to sustainable resources in a global market. Once subscribed, this agreement will contribute to achieving the objectives of Qatar National Vision 2030 and its food security program.

The Embassy expects tens of thousands of Mexicans to visit Qatar as part of the FIFA World Cup 2022. Which role does sports play in on your diplomatic vision?

Mexicans love football and our fans are on the top five worldwide in terms of tickets bought for the World Cup. The large majority of the expected 80,000 fans might not be familiar with the Middle East’s cultural and religious context. Their first visit to Qatar is a perfect occasion to experience its hospitality and its traditions as well as an opportunity for Mexicans and Qataris to learn about each other. We want to join forces with Qatar on building a legacy that can live on in 2026 when Mexico, together with Canada and the US, will host the FIFA Unity Cup. We are also working on an ambitious program to showcase our artistic and musical heritage, gastronomy, and tourist destinations so that Qatar and the world can learn more about Mexico and hopefully visit it soon.

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