Al Watan Reporter Ahmed Bayoumi's Interview With Ambassador Ahmet Demirok
The visit of His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, the Emir of Qatar, to Turkey comes in the framework of strengthening the bilateral relations between the two countries on all political and economic levels, through the signing of the Supreme Council of the strategic cooperation between the two countries, which agreed to be established during the Turkish president's visit to Doha last September, along with the discussions on the latest developments in the Middle East, especially the Syrian and Iraqi files.
About Qatar - Turkish relations, HE Ahmet Demirok, Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey in Doha, confirmed the depth of relations between his country and Qatar at all levels, stressing that these relations are based on historical base and common culture.
HE Turkish Ambassador said: These distinguished relations between Turkey and Qatar are based on a solid base allows it to flourish due to the joint efforts of all the official and popular levels.
Demirok pointed out in his statement to QNA, which was published a few days ago on the occasion of Qatar National Day celebration, that the official visits at the highest levels in the two countries allow for greater cooperation between them and the desire to strengthen those relationships to further joint action.
He described the political relations between Turkey and Qatar as excellent stressing that the cultural and economic relations between the two countries are in growth, however, he added: “I think that there are more opportunities, especially in the field of investments, in the fields of agriculture, health, tourism, construction and energy in Turkey in addition to the banks and the financial sector”.
He said that Turkey invited the Qatari investors to discuss the possibility of investing in these fields. He pointed out that the Turkish construction companies and the Turkish community living in Qatar contribute in the Qatari economy.
He stressed that the Turkish and Qatari governments are seeking to find solution for many challenges in the Middle East because they share historically and culturally with all parties of the conflicts in the region; therefore, Turkey and Qatar play a constructive role in the region. He added that Qatar and Turkey are playing an important enlightening role in the problems of the region in the international organizations such as the United Nations and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
Demirok added: Qatar is a major force in the Middle East due to its rapid economic growth and the principles of its foreign policy. It (Qatar) is a bright star in the region and it has a diplomatic role to bring the views of many groups in the region through the mediations that it makes; which is important for security and stability of the region. Qatar is working to bring peace in our joint region and further, pointing out that countries will organize many cultural activities in both countries in “Qatar-Turkey cultural year 2015”, which will contribute to extend more bridges between the Qatari and Turkish peoples.
In general, the Qatari - Turkish relations are described as one of the distinguished relations; where they express honestly about the size and the level of ties that bind the two peoples. Qatar is going in the coming years on a civilized and urban shift saving for it more than $ 140 billion to achieve the enormous leap in infrastructure projects in addition to monitoring about $ 60 billion for the implementation of the 2022 World Cup. They need many of their brothers’ and friends’ experiences to help them in building their modern renaissance. The Turkish companies realized that the climate and investment environment in Qatar is suitable and appropriate to establish a strong partnership and strategy relations that push the relation to wider prospects.
Experts confirm that the economic cooperation relationship between the two countries is on the threshold of a new phase of cooperation between the business community in the two countries, and all the ambitions and aspirations towards the realization of the existing development to meet the real needs of the Qatari and Turkish market.
Experts point out that the opportunities now are ready more than ever to establish a distinct trade and economic relations to be the real and honest culmination and expression to the size of relations between the two peoples and their wise leaderships, the trade exchange between Qatar and Turkey has been increased greatly during the last five years.
The Qatari investments in Turkey reach more than a billion dollars; Doha forms today Ankara gateway to the Gulf markets, and Qatar, due to its great economic and leadership position in the gas export areas, become eligible to form the starting point for any country that wants to enter the Other Gulf markets.
During the coming years, Qatar is going to present big projects after its winning the host of 2022 World Cup, as well as achieving the objectives of the 2030 country's vision; the size of these projects tempt any businessman in the world, especially the Turkish businessmen who can sign partnerships with Qatari counterparts on more than one level that will qualify them to take advantage of the great opportunities offered by the GCC joint market.
According to data of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Qatar that the capital of Turkish companies operating in Qatar exceed 1.6 billion dollars, investing especially in the construction, tourism and decoration sector.
Turkey has become a powerful force in the Middle East politically and economically. Small and medium industries sector and the rest of other productive sectors such as tourism and construction will be the biggest beneficiary of the signing of a free trade agreement along with the consecration of a true strategic partnership.
Turkey occupies 15th ranking among the largest economies in the world and it is also characterized by significant levels either in GDP or per capita national income. Turkey is famous in producing various kinds of building materials, whether cement or ceramic or other construction materials; these materials can be exported to Qatar which will see a construction boom in the coming years including the new Doha Port and the contribution of Turkish companies in the construction work.
As Qatar hosting 2022 World Cup, Turkey is ready to provide all the support services; where there are about 33 contracting company ranked among the top 225 construction companies in the world and they are ready to provide all the services for the World Cup. Also the Turkish construction sector has become known for its world competence and experience, as the Turkish construction companies ranked the second after China in this field. Turkey has become a strong country in terms of technology, it is also considered as a conduit for energy while Qatar is the exporter for energy which opens the prospects of cooperation between the two countries. There are several ways for cooperation in all fields in addition to the agricultural field in which Turkey has made great strides, as well as cooperation in the fields of tourism investment. Experts predicted that the volume of trade exchange will reach to $ 6 billion over the coming years.
About the future of the Turkish – Qatari economic relations and their impact on the joint investment opportunities between the two countries, experts see that the Turkish economy has achieved great success in the recent years and has achieved a surprise to some. The economic policy was successful and balanced and wasn’t affected by the global financial crisis; Turkish banks were not involved in the debt as well as the Turkish consumer was not well involved in the debt crisis that hit the global financial institutions. Therefore, the Turkish economy benefited greatly from those financial and banking policies which helped it to grow at a rapid pace as the structure of the economy and its restructuring were solid. Turkey was not facing problems as Greece and Portugal faced financial and economic crises, the Turkish economy has been able to keep pace with what was happening in Europe in general and became close from the technology and transfer of knowledge. Those qualifications helped it to find a foothold in the Arab world particularly in Libya. Erdogan's moderate policies, that supported the Arab interests as well as Turkey's trends in the Islamic economics, had greatest impact in welcoming Turkey in the Arab countries including Qatar.