Qatar and Turkiye explore economic ties ahead of President Erdogan’s visit

Qatar and Turkiye explored the enhancement of bilateral trade and economic ties on Sunday ahead of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s anticipated visit to the Gulf state and the region next week.

With economic ties on the agenda for Erdogan’s visit, Turkish Minister of Treasury Finance Mehmet Simsek met with several officials in Qatar.

Simsek met separately with the Governor of Qatar Central Bank Sheikh Bandar bin Mohammed bin Saoud Al-Thani as well as Qatar’s Minister of Finance Ali bin Ahmed Al Kuwari on Sunday.

“The meeting dealt with bilateral cooperation relations and ways to boost them in the fields of finance and banking,” Qatar’s News Agency reported,referring to the meeting with Sheikh Bandar.

A Turkish delegation headed by Vice President Cevdet Yilmaz landed in the Gulf state on Saturday with eyes on strengthening bilateral ties and plans to hold the ninth High Strategic Committee meetings.

On Sunday, Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani met with Yilmaz at the Amiri Diwan.

“We aim to deepen our cooperation, especially in the defence industry and energy fields,” Yilmaz said in a tweet.

President Erdogan is scheduled to embark on a regional tour that includes Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates between 17-19 July. The visit comes nearly two months after the Turkish president was re-elected for a third term.

Notably, Sheikh Tamim was the first leader to congratulate Erdogan on his re-election with a tweet to his “brother” moments ahead of the final results.

Attracting investments

The Turkish president’s visit aims to attract investments and alternative financial support amid a significant decrease from Western countries. President Erdogan seeks to attract $25 billion in investments from Gulf countries, officials said last week, per a Bloomberg report.

Qatar and Turkiye have long been strategic partners in various fields, ranging from economy to defence. Between 2020 and 2021 alone, trade volume between the two countries saw a 6% increase, reaching $1.6 billion.

By December last year, Qatar’s total investments in Turkiye reached $22 billion, with at least 711 Turkish companies operating in the Gulf state as of October 2022.

There are also 644 companies with Qatar-Turkish capital in the private sector, with Doha representing one of the largest investors in Ankara.

In 2015, the two countries held their first Joint Strategic Committee meeting, during which Doha and Ankara inked 15 agreements covering maritime affairs, energy, science, technology, education and environment.

During a major decline in the Turkish lira in 2018, Qatar’s amir had announced direct investments that totalled $15 billion during his visit to Ankara.

Then in 2020, Qatar and Turkiye increased a 2018 currency swap agreement from $5 billion to $15 billion to help the latter’s economy stay afloat amid the depreciation of the lira.

More recently in February, Sheikh Tamim ordered the launch of an air bridge after Turkiye and Syria were struck with the worst earthquakes to hit the area in a century.

Qatar’s amir had also met with President Erdogan in Istanbul as the first leader to visit Turkiye following the deadly earthquakes.

The amir donated QAR 50 million ($14 million) to earthquake victims on live television during the Oun and Sanad campaign in February. The campaign successfully gathered QAR 168,015,836 (around $19 million).


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