Qatari Ambassador Ahmed Abdulla A. A. al-Kuwari opened his country’s new chancellery in Mexico with a formal diplomatic reception, attended by representatives of the Foreign Relations Secretariat (SRE), the Agricultural Secretariat (Segarpa), the Mexican Senate and other foreign diplomats accredited to Mexico.
The new instillations, which are located in the upscale neighborhood of Lomas de Chapultepec, were inaugurated by Al-Kuwari after a brief speech in which he outlined Qatar’s ever-deepening binational ties with Mexico.
“To crown the bilateral relations between Qatar and Mexico, the Embassy of the State of Qatar started its work in Mexico City in the month of September 2014,” the ambassador said, adding that the following year, Qatari Emir Tamin bin Hamad al Thani paid an official visit to Mexico at the invitation of President Enrique Peña Nieto.
During that visit, Al-Kuwari said, five bilateral treaties encompassing two-way cooperation on the fields of economics, culture, communications and aeronautics were signed.
In January 2016, Peña Nieto visited several countries in the Arabian Gulf, including Qatar and, at that time, additional bilateral agreements were signed.
Al-Kuwari said that Mexico and Qatar now have about 20 such two-way accords.
Currently, combined bilateral commercial exchange between the two countries amounts to about $284 million annually, making Qatar Mexico’s fourth-largest trade partner in the Middle East.
“The State of Qatar and Mexico hold strong relations based on friendship and mutual respect, and all this heralds in the next stage for greater cooperation between the two countries,” Al-Kuwari said.
Mexico and Qatar first established formal diplomatic relations in 1975, but in 2014, the Middle Eastern nation opened a resident embassy here, which was temporarily housed in the St. Regis Hotel, with a chargé d’affaires.
In 2015, Mexico opened a resident chancellery in Doha.
Since the 2014 plunge in international oil prices, Qatar’s dynamic economy has been hit, but the government has compensated by encouraging private sector investment and infrastructure projects.
Currently, non-hydrocarbon sectors are leading Qatar’s economic growth, driven by the financial services, construction, trade and hospitality.
Between 2010 and 2014, Qatar witnessed an average 9.2 percent growth in its overall economy, but international forecasts predict that it will grow by only 5.4 percent in 2016 and 5.1 percent in 2017.
In 2015, Qatar registered a 4.9 percent growth in GDP.
The Al Thani family has ruled Qatar since the mid-1800s.
On Dec. 18, 1878, Jassim bin Mohammed al Thani succeeded his father Mohammed bin Thani as head of the Qatari Peninsula.
After its independence from Great Britain in 1971, Qatar underwent a dramatic transformation from a poor British protectorate noted mainly for pearling into a rich state with significant oil and natural gas revenues.
But during the late 1980s and early 1990s, the Qatari economy was crippled by a continuous siphoning off of petroleum revenues by the emir, who had ruled the country since 1972.
His son, Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani, overthrew the father in a bloodless coup in 1995.
The more progressive Hamad oversaw the creation of the pan-Arab satellite news network Al-Jazeera and Qatar’s pursuit of a leadership role in mediating regional conflicts.
In the 2000s, Qatar resolved its longstanding border disputes with both Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
As of 2007, oil and natural gas revenues had enabled Qatar to attain the highest per capita income in the world.
Qatar has not experienced domestic unrest or violence like that seen in other Near Eastern and North African countries as a result of the so-called Arab Spring, due in large part to its immense wealth.
In mid-2013, Hamad transferred power to his 33 year-old son, Tamim bin Hamad in a peaceful abdication.
Tamim has prioritized improving the domestic welfare of Qataris, including establishing advanced healthcare and education systems and expanding the country’s infrastructure in anticipation of Doha’s hosting of the 2022 World Cup.