More than 150 Qatari companies have started operating in Turkey since the economic blockade was imposed on Qatar in June 2017, Turkey Expo Qatar Board Member Attila Kurucayrilai said on Tuesday.
Speaking at a press conference to provide details about the biggest ever Turkish expo in Doha, Kurucayrilai said the blockade has prompted many Qatari investors to set up manufacturing units in Turkey to diversify the country’s sources to procure vital products.
“Qatar and Turkey have developed strategic relations at the political, economic and military levels,” he said.
He said the ties between Qatar and Turkey have grown manifold, especially after the blockade, which is evident from the fact that Qatar has awarded defense contracting job worth QR15 billion to Turkish companies.
He pointed out that Turkish exports to Qatar are expected to increase from $1.2 billion in 2018 to over 2.5 billion in 2019.
Qatar raised its support to Turkey after approving a $3 billion currency swap, he said.
“The Qatari riyal is now a convertible currency in Turkey; business owners and individuals can make their transfers in local currencies,” he said.
Highlighting details about the growing relations between the two countries in the hotel and tourism sector, he said International Luxurious Hotels International will develop and operate the largest comprehensive leisure resort with Katara Hospitality in Qatar.
“The number of passengers from Qatar to Turkey has increased to more than 110,000 in 2018 and there are more than 50 flights a week between the two countries,” he said.
The volume of investments of Turkish companies in Qatar is $16 billion, he said adding Qatar is the second largest foreign investor in Turkey with investments worth $20 billion in agriculture, tourism, real estate and banking sectors.
The Qatari and Turkish economic sectors expect the volume of trade between the two countries to reach their highest level, exceeding $5 billion soon, he said.
Turkey’s top 10 retail and F&B brands are operational in Qatar, he said adding many more brands are in talks to enter the Qatari market.
Meanwhile, Burak Guresci, Commercial Counsellor at the Turkish Embassy in Qatar, said that exports from Turkey to Qatar have grown almost 61 percent to $1.2 billion in 2018.
Talking to Qatar Tribune, Guresci said the phenomenal increase in Turkish exports to Qatar was mainly witnessed in food and building materials and textile sectors.
The increased Turkish exports, he said, have also resulted in an impressive growth of trade volume between the two countries.
“The trade volume between the two countries has almost touched $2.5 billion and it is evenly balanced between the two countries. We expect the trade volume to touch the $5 billion mark in the near future,” he said.
Guresci said the number of Turkish firms operating in Qatar has crossed 200-mark as many joint ventures between Qatari and Turkish businessmen came into existence last year.
There is a pledge by Qatar to invest $15 billion in Turkey, he said Qatar has already invested $3 billion into Turkish banking system through currency swap agreement.
Rest of the investment by Qatar, he said, is expected to be in sectors like petrochemical, energy and mining.
By Satyendra Pathak
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