After meeting with President Cristina Fernandez, Minister of Tourism of Saudi Arabia and Prince of the Royal House, Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud, was honored by businessmen and officials
We stayed at the elegant Hotel Alvear of Buenos Aires, sharing dinner in honor of the Prince of the Royal House of Saudi Arabia, Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud, organized by the Argentine Chamber of Commerce Arab, one of the oldest and most important the country, which is also a member of the General Union of Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture for Arab Countries, and is recognized by the League of Arab States.
We were invited by the president of the organization, Dr. Carlos Roberto Saad, and the Secretary General, Walid Al Kaddour. The most prominent presence in the cocktail was the Minister of Tourism of Saudi Arabia and Prince of the Royal House, Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud, who minutes earlier had held a meeting with President Cristina Kirchner in the Casa Rosada, accompanied by the Minister of Tourism Carlos Enrique Meyer. This officer was also part of the treat, along with other figures such as the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Mohamad Al Turki Ben Made, Engineer Miguel Galuccio (CEO of YPF), Secretary of the Embassy of Mexico in Buenos Aires, Maribel Arreola Ceballos, Ambassador of Peru, Ambassador of the Congo, businessmen, diplomats, television reporters as well as Maria Belen Aramburu and the writer of these lines, Gustavo Chapur.
THE BUSINESS WORLD
Beyond the images we usually puts the big screen, as vast deserts, camels and white robes, the reality of the Arab world has another key player: the powerful world of business.
The Arab world, composed of 22 countries and 300 million, representing a while an appealing alternative trading for our country. The average per capita GDP of this group of countries is 15,000 u $ s. And Argentine exports to the region have steady growth. The trade today is ten times more voluminous than a decade ago, and the numbers could increase. According to the latest statistics released by the House regarding the evolution of the Arab Argentine trade, the year 2013 showed $ 280,000 Arabs imported products, and $ 6.7 million in Argentine exports to these lands. That is, our country has the region with substantial surplus in its trade balance, panorama rare in relations with other destinations.
The countries that make up this region far drawn a very different economic and social structure, and from small to the largest rich with all kinds of needs. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, Lebanon, Libya, Syria, Tunisia and Kuwait are the destinations with which Argentina has maintained a close relationship. While Yemen, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Somalia, Sudan, Mauritania, Jordan, Iraq, Djibouti, Comoros, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, numbers represent less bulky.
The Arab countries strongly demand products in the Argentine market, mainly food. Most exports has traditionally been made up of agricultural commodities. But it has evolved into a healthy diversification. Besides cereals, honey yerba mate and managed a solid location. Major companies such as Techint, with seamless steel tubes, Establishment Las Marias and Cargill, among others, have already set foot in these arid lands, and paved the way for SMEs. In Egypt, for example, sells the Arcor Bon o Bon. The company entered in several Arab countries with three lines: milk candies, chewable and Bon o Bon. They are not confectioners and had to make changes to the product. Saudi Arabia is the largest buyer of honey. In terms of technology advances were also achieved: Argentina has sold nuclear reactors for peaceful purposes to nuclear plant Algeria and Egypt.
With the idea that unity is strength, last year was signed in Buenos Aires the birth certificate of the Federation of Arab Chambers of Commerce South American. The initiative seeks to strengthen South-South relations in the special times facing the global economy and strengthen ties with a region of the world that South America last year exported about $ 30,000 million (Brazil, $ 23,000 million , and Argentina, $ 6,000 million).
MISSION OF THE ARGENTINE ARAB CAMERA
Are many and varied services offered by the Chamber of Commerce Arabic Argentino: organizing trade missions, together with the Foreign Ministry; organization of the Argentine flag in international fairs in the Arab countries together with ExportAr Foundation; Argentina organization of the exhibition "Expoarab"; finding suppliers, trading companies, sponsors and potential importers; distribution and international procurement opportunities; development of seminars and conferences; issuance of certificates of origin and visa documentation exports to Arab countries; information on treaties and agreements; dissemination of trade statistics and economic data.
ARABS IN ARGENTINA
Today, Arab immigration in our country is the third largest non-American in this country. The strongest community is Syria, then Lebanon, and followed the Egyptian and Palestinian. Of the 3.5 million people who are Arabs or their descendants, over 600,000 are Muslims and the rest of the population is Christian. This means that the Syrian-Lebanese immigration to Argentina was the third wave of immigration in the country followed by Italians and Spaniards. The Syrian-Lebanese were characterized by founding a wealth of cultural, social and charitable organizations throughout the country. In Argentina there are nine mosques, three of them in Buenos Aires, including the King Fahd Islamic Cultural Center stands, opened in 2000, which is the largest Islamic temple Latin America. Today Argentina has embassies in 12 of the 22 Arab countries, which cover most of the Maghreb, unlike 5 embassies to the rest of the African continent.
And of course, in addition to the world of trading, the Arab world is a fascinating cultural and tourist destination for Argentines. It was a land of great civilizations (including the Pharaonic, Babylonian, Assyrian and Phoenician, which remained in constant contact with the Roman, Greek and Chinese). In addition, the Arab world has been an intermediary between the cultures of East and West, and the birthplace of the 3 great monotheistic religions in the history of mankind: the Jewish, Christian and Muslim. Nothing less .-
traslation: Belén Zapata