By Zia Khan/Staff Reporter
Turkey has the potential to become a favourite destination for Qatari business houses planning to venture into overseas projects as the Eurasian country prepares to further liberalise the key hospitality sector to seek more foreign investment.
A top Turkish diplomat based in Doha said his country was anticipating foreign investment from the Arab world, especially from Qatar, in tourism, real estate, banking and large-scale manufacturing.
“Our economy is open and tourism is one of the areas supported by the government. We would like to see overseas companies investing in the sector and, of course, this is a country we are particularly looking at,” Turkish ambassador to Qatar H Emre Yunt told Gulf Times in an interview.
He said the Turkish government has remarkably liberalised the investment regime to attract people and companies from outside the country to invest there and more measures were under consideration. The new initiatives could include tax breaks and reductions for investors, he added, but did not elaborate further.
The envoy downplayed fears that Turkey might not be a safe destination any more for tourists, especially those from the Western countries, following sporadic attacks against some American targets in the recent past.
“It was a one-time incident, a crime. You know crimes happen all over the world. We need not generalise one odd incident,” he said, referring to a suicide bombing outside the US embassy in Ankara early this month. A guard was killed when the side entrance of the heavily-fortified compound in the Turkish capital came under an Al Qaeda-styled attack.
Qatar and Turkey have in recent months warmed up to each other on major international issues, including the dispute in Palestine and Arab Spring.
The envoy said both countries have similar views on a solution for Syria. “This issue has brought our two countries even closer.”
“Both Turkey and Qatar have been at the forefront of (a) solution,” Yunt said about the crisis in Syria, where a deadly civil war has entered its third year. The ambassador said both Qatar and Turkey wanted a solution that would suit the Syrians, but did not elaborate on its contours.
H Emre Yunt