Greenhouses are attracting investors in Qatar

09-10-2019    14:56   |    Reuters

With Milk, Vegetables and Greenhouses, Qatar Takes on Regional Boycott. The small but wealthy country has been under a trade and transport boycott by Saudi Arabia and its allies since June 2017 that has forced it to retool an economy once heavily reliant on fellow Gulf states.

Doha: Two years after flying in thousands of dairy cows to beat a trade embargo, Qatari milk producer Baladna has made its first exports.

Qatar is the world's top liquefied natural gas exporter but a net importer of nearly everything else. The small but wealthy country has been under a trade and transport boycott by Saudi Arabia and its allies since June 2017 that has forced it to retool an economy once heavily reliant on fellow Gulf states.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt accuse Qatar of supporting Islamist terrorist groups. Doha denies this and says the boycott, which closed its only land border and disrupted shipping routes, is an attempt to infringe on its sovereignty.

Baladna received its first cows a month after the boycott and set up a huge diary farm. It says it now supplies more than half of Qatar's fresh milk and is exporting to Afghanistan, Yemen and Oman, and soon to Libya.

Soon after the boycott was imposed, Doha developed new trade routes to replace its former Gulf partners. In late 2017, it opened a $7.4 billion port designed to become a regional transport hub.

Government officials say Baladna's rapid expansion shows the embargo has made Qatar's economy stronger. Their goal is to encourage local producers.

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Photo Credit: Konevi from Pixabay 


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