Article: "qatari-turkish Relations, A Model To Apply" , 16.02.2014
Ahmed Bayoumi's article "Qatari-Turkish relations, A model to apply", based on his interview notes with Ambassador Ahmet Demirok, was published in Al Watan newspaper on 16 February 2014. You can find the English translation of the said article below.
"Qatari - Turkish relation is characterized as historic and typical, because its basis serve the common interests of the two peoples and it contributes effectively in the stability in the region and the promotion of world peace.
Observers believe that the identity of views between Qatar and Turkey in a lot of regional and international issues is due to the ongoing coordination between the leadership in the two countries and the keenness to develop attitudes consistent with the original principles.
About the Qatari - Turkish relations, HE Ahmet Demirok, Turkey's ambassador to Doha, says: The relations between the two countries witness a huge growth and we do our best to improve the relations to its higher levels. He added that Turkey and Qatar are friendly countries share a special relationship, the culture and historical ties between the two countries stretching from the reign of Sultan Suleiman El Kanuni since 1538.
Demirok emphasized that relations between Qatar and Turkey is witnessing a significant growth in all fields including political, economic, cultural and human resources, noting that Doha and Ankara are seeking to produce solutions by adopting the convergent principles in the foreign policy. The economic capabilities of both countries represent a strong base to enhance cooperation in various fields. The Turkish ambassador added: “We're going to proceed in order to strengthen the relations between our two brotherly peoples as well as through cooperation and solidarity, and we will continue to invest to prove our existence and cooperation with Qatar”.
Turkish Vision on relations
The Turkish Vision is consistent in the nature of the relationship with Qatar; this vision was expressed by the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in December last year during his visit to Doha, where he said that there is a distinct property between Turkey and Qatar, “We have identical views on regional and international issues and we are doing our best with the State of Qatar in order to transform our region into a peace zone”. He pointed out that Turkey and Qatar are continuing to grow despite the crisis in the world, and both countries have a great growth record in the development of human resources,; despite the existence of economic problems in the world recently, both countries have been able to maintain their positions.
Significant economic cooperation
The economic cooperation between the two countries is considered as a headline for their relations development, where the trade volume reached 1.3 billion dollars in 2013, as well as the investments of the Turkish companies in the Qatari market amounted to 12 billion dollars, reflecting a mutual desire to consolidate typical economic ties in the interest of the two friendly peoples.
Turkey is a safe country for the Qataris, so they go there for tourism and to identify the enormous development in different fields; where the number of citizens visitors was 15 thousand tourists last year, and observers expect increased number in the future especially with the increasing number of Qatar Airways flights for the cities of Turkey.
The Qatari - Turkish Ties witnessed signing of several economic agreements between the two countries which have contributed directly to the development of bilateral relations, such as the agreements to develop economic exchanges, protection of investments, prevention of double taxation and exemption of Turkish companies from the requirement of sponsor. In addition to many mutual visits carried out by senior officials from the two countries.
The Qatari - Turkish relations is considered one of the excellent relations, which express honestly the size and the level of the ties that bind the two peoples. Qatar is proceeding in the coming years to a cultural and architectural shift spotted for it more than 140 billion dollars to achieve a huge leap in infrastructure projects in addition to setting about additional 60 billion dollars to implement 2022 World Cup. Perhaps the Turkish companies realized that the climate and investment environment in Qatar is appropriate to establish a strong partnership and strategic relations.
Experts point out that the opportunities now are better equipped than ever to establish distinguished business and economic relations as the volume of trade between Qatar and Turkey has increased greatly during the last five years.
The volume of Qatari investments in Turkey has reached more than a billion dollars. Doha forms today as Ankara gate towards the Gulf markets. Qatar, due to its large economic level and its leadership in the areas of gas export, became eligible to form the starting point for any country that wants to enter other gulf markets.
During the coming years, Qatar is going to launch big projects after winning the entitlement to host 2022 World Cup, as well as the achievement of the objectives of the country's vision for 2030, and the size of these projects tempt any businessman in the world especially the Turkish businessmen who are able to sign partnerships with their Qataris counterparts on more than one level.
The data of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Qatar indicates that the capital of the Turkish companies operating in Qatar exceeds 1.6 billion dollars, investing especially in the construction, tourism and decor sectors. Turkey has become an influential force in the Middle East politically and economically, and the signing of a free trade agreement will make the small and medium industries and the rest of the other productive sectors such as tourism and construction to be the biggest beneficiary from it.
Benefit from the Turkish experience
Turkey occupies the 15th rank among the largest economies in the world, and it is famous in producing various types of building materials, whether cement or ceramic or other building materials; hence it can export these materials to Qatar which will witness construction boom in the coming years, including the new Doha Port and the contribution of Turkish companies in its construction, besides Qatar’s hosting the 2022 World Cup, Turkey is ready to provide all support services. There are about 33 contracting company rated among the top 225 largest construction company in the world and are ready to provide all services for the World Cup. The Turkish construction sector became known for his world's competence and experience, where the Turkish construction companies occupied the second level after China in this regard. Turkey has become a strong country in terms of technology, as it is considered a conduit for energy while Qatar is an energy source which leads to cooperation between the two countries, and there are several ways for cooperation in all fields, in addition to the field of agriculture. Experts predict that the volume of trade exchange in the future will reach to six billion dollars in the coming years.
About the future of Qatari – Turkish economic relations and its impact on the joint investment opportunities between the two countries, experts see that the Turkish economy has achieved great success in recent years in addition to the German economy and the economic policy was successful and balanced without being affected by the global financial crisis. Turkish banks were not involved in debts as well as the Turkish consumer was not involved in the debt crisis that hit the global financial institutions. Therefore, the Turkish economy has benefited greatly from those financial policies and banking, which helped it to grow at a rapid pace and the Turkish economy could keep pace with what was happening in Europe in general, becoming close to the technology and knowledge transfer; therefore it was able to have a foothold in the Arab world especially in Libya. Erdoğan moderate policies which supported the Arab interests as well as Turkey orientations in Islamic economics had the greatest impact in welcoming Turkey in the Arab countries including Qatar.
An important role in Qatar
In the recent years, Turkish companies have an important role in Qatar in the fields of construction, infrastructure and development. Turkey became compete on a European level and became a partner in Qatar projects. The experts said that businessmen and the private sector in Qatar are looking to establish strong strategic partnerships with the Turkish companies in the next period and establishing one of the strongest real alliances which is expected to achieve significant economic benefits for both Qatar and Turkey. Turkey has a vast experience in the areas of infrastructure and manufacturing.
It is expected that the next years will witness significant growth in the terms of trade by virtue of its proximity to Qatar and the Gulf region in general. Turks perceive the region as important strategic field as there will be supportive partnerships for the industrial, commercial and economic sectors benefit to all parties."