The economic and trade relations of Qatar and Turkey “have made repeated progress” in recent years, said Turkish Ambassador Mehmet Mustafa Goksu, who stressed that bilateral relations have experienced “immense growth”.
“Our trade volume increased from 340 million dollars in 2010 to 2.24 billion dollars in 2019. Last year, our exports to Qatar increased by 18% and reached 1.29 billion dollars, while our imports amounted to $ 951 million, ”Goksu said during a webinar hosted by Doha Bank on Wednesday.
The online event, titled “Bilateral and Synergistic Opportunities between Qatar and Turkey”, was hosted by Doha Bank CEO Dr R Seetharaman, who was also joined by Burak Daghoglu, Chairman of the Investment Office of the Presidency of the Republic of Turkey, and DEIK / The President of the Turkey-Qatar Business Council, Basar Arigolu.
The ambassador also pointed out that the Covid-19 pandemic had “a limited impact” on the bilateral trade of Qatar and Turkey, saying that “now the worst is behind us; we expect higher levels. “
He also noted that Turkish construction companies have made a significant contribution to the development of infrastructure in Qatar. The total number of projects undertaken by the Turkish construction industry since 2002 has reached nearly $ 18 billion, making Qatar the seventh largest contract market for 2019, Goksu said.
“It wasn’t until 2019 that Turkish companies took over projects worth $ 1.5 billion. At present, more than 500 Turkish companies are operating in Qatar, ”said the Ambassador.
On the investment side, Goksu said Turkey “continues to be a safe haven for Qatari businessmen”.
“The total value of Qatari direct investments in Turkey between 2000 and 2019 reached almost $ 3 billion. In addition, 170 Qatari companies and liaison offices operate in Turkey, ”he said.
On the political front, Goksu said that the Turkey-Qatar Supreme Strategy Committee, established in 2015, held regular meetings, resulting in the signing of more than 50 agreements. Turkey will host the next meeting before the end of 2020, he said.
“In addition, a sign of the strategic importance of our relations, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made his first official visit to Qatar after the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. Turkey will always be alongside Qatar, ”he said.
According to Goksu, the two countries have political will and commitment “at the highest level” under the leadership of Erdogan and His Highness Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.
“We have a clear, legal and institutional framework that supports investors and business people, such as a double taxation agreement, mutual protection of investment agreements, as well as a business partnership agreement and recently signed economic agreement that will ease restrictions on trade in goods and services, and promote electronic commerce.
“All of these agreements create a transparent and secure business environment between our two countries. We have strong trade, commerce and investment institutions in Turkey and Qatar, ”he said.
Citing the strong economies of both countries, structural reforms and business acumen, Turkey and Qatar “successfully managed the Covid-19 crisis”, while boosting trade and investment in established goods and services .
“We have to look for new opportunities. I think the recently announced discovery of natural gas in the Black Sea could offer new horizons for such cooperation, ”Goksu said.
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