Here come the Turks
Qatar-Turkey bilateral relations
By TBY | Qatar | Nov 09, 2017
Turkey’s economic relations with Qatar have come to the fore after Turkey delivered food products to Qatar and announced support for the country following the blockade led by Saudi Arabia, […]
Turkey’s economic relations with Qatar have come to the fore after Turkey delivered food products to Qatar and announced support for the country following the blockade led by Saudi Arabia, and including the UAE, Bahrain, the Maldives, Egypt, and Libya. Relations are expected to rapidly improve in the upcoming period. The efforts made between the two countries with the goal of doubling the trade volume of about USD700 million last year have gained momentum after recent developments. It is predicted that Qatar will be one of the largest recipients of Turkish exports of construction materials and food products in the upcoming period.
Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekçi accompanied Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavuşoğlu on his visit to Qatar in July amid the diplomatic row in the Gulf region, relaying the message that Turkey is ready to help meet the needs of Qatar.
White meat and egg exporters who continue to send products to Qatar after the blockade think that commercial relations with this country will increase rapidly. Bedrit Girit, Deputy Chairman of Aegean Aquaculture and Animal Products Exporters’ Association, pointed out that Turkey has showed that it is a foul-weather friend of Qatar in these hard times. Expressing that exports to Qatar continue under the coordination of the Ministry of Economy, Girit said Qatari people are keen on Turkish products.
He continued, “Qatar is a small but very popular market for exporters. We see Turkish products are preferred, especially in the aftermath of the embargo. Food prices are expected to rise in this kind of crisis environment. However, Turkey has prevented speculation by acting quickly and without making any changes in prices.“ Stressing that Turkey demonstrated its support for Qatar in this crisis, Girit said Turkey is continuing to deliver products to Qatar as before and will be the main supplier from now on. Riza Seyyar, a board member of the Turkish Exporters’ Assembly (TIM), noted that Qatar’s fresh vegetables and fruit needs are now being met by Iran after the embargo, while Turkey sends processed food products and legumes to the country via air cargo.
While interest in Turkish products is growing in Qatar, some Qatari companies carrying out major construction projects under the 2022 FIFA World Cup will come to Izmir to purchase natural stones. The Turkish marble and natural stone sector, which has an important share in world natural stone exports, has also designated Qatar as its target market. The first purchasing delegation will come from Qatar as part of the International Competitiveness Enhancement Initiative (URGE) project supported by the Ministry of Economy, which includes 26 natural stone exporters.
Qatar, which has been undergoing stadium and hotel construction for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, as well as motorway, hospital, and railway connection projects, is critically important for the Turkish construction sector. President Recep Tayip Erdoğan told TBY that Turkish companies’ projects in Qatar amount to USD18 billion. He further added that a Turkish company was awarded one of the primary contracts for the Al Thumama Stadium for the World Cup.
Though now in the spotlight due to recent tensions within the GCC, Turkish-Qatari bilateral relations were elevated to strategic partnership back in 2014 with the establishment of the High Level Strategic Committee. President Erdoğan explained this intergovernmental mechanism has met twice and. “facilitated the signing of 30 agreements. Out of these, 15 relate to our economic relations and include topics such as banking, SMEs, prevention of double taxation, health, information and communications technology, customs, and standardization, which together aim to develop our economic and trade relations. We also plan to organize a Turkey-Qatar Economic Forum in the near future.“