A large delegation led by Saudi Arabia’s investment minister is expected to arrive in Turkiye next month, Treasury and Finance Minister Nureddin Nebati said, as a rapprochement between Ankara and Riyadh gains pace.
The meeting will seek to add momentum to bilateral relations and will focus on new investments, Nebati told Daily Sabah in an interview.
“I fully believe that the meeting will contribute significantly to new investment opportunities and the momentum we have achieved in our relations,”Nebati said.
Turkiye and Saudi Arabia have this year moved to mend ties following years of tension,which escalated especially after the 2018 murder of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Saudi Arabia’s Istanbul Consulate.
“We have been in intensive contact with Saudi Arabia at all levels in many areas, especially political and economic relations, in the recent period,” Nebati said.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited Saudi Arabia in April, the first high-level visit in years. His trip was followed by Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s (MBS) trip to Turkiye in June.
The two leaders also met last week on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Bali, Indonesia.
Nebati said the meeting reiterated the determination at the highest level to strengthen relations.
He said bilateral trade between Turkiye and Saudi Arabia was “well below potential,” yet said steps taken in the last two years helped ensure a fresh recovery.
“Our trade volume, which stood at $3.7 billion in 2021, increased to $3.8 billion in the first nine months of 2022,” Nebati said.
“If this momentum continues, we believe we will capture much higher figures in our trade volume in the coming period.”
Nebati stressed extensive talks with Saudi Arabia on investment, citing his trip to Riyadh last month where he met with his counterpart Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Jadaan, Investment Minister Khalid al-Falih and Trade Minister Majid Abdullah al-Qasabi.
“I have observed that there is a great interest and desire from our Saudi brothers to invest in our country,” the minister said.
The interest was reaffirmed by a recent report that the kingdom mandated al-Falih to discuss with Turkiye a proposal for a memorandum of understanding for cooperation on encouraging direct investments.
“We will convey the Turkiye Economy Model and Turkiye’s strong investment potential to investors at this meeting,” Nebati told Daily Sabah.
The Turkish government has been prioritizing low interest rates to boost exports, production, investment and create new jobs as part of the economic program named Turkiye Economy Model, which aims to lower inflation by flipping the country’s chronic current account deficit to a surplus.