‘Expo Turkey by Qatar 2018’, meant to strengthen cooperation and establish joint investments that would contribute to increasing the volume of trade exchange between Qatar and Turkey, formally opened its doors to the public on Wednesday.
HE the Minister of Economy and Commerce Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohamed al-Thani led the ribbon-cutting ceremony with Turkey’s Minister of Customs and Trade Bulent Tufenkci during the inauguration ceremony held at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre.
The two ministers were also joined by Independent Industrialists and Businessmen Association (Musiad) president Abdurrahman Kaan, Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey president Rifat Hisarciklioglu, Turkish ambassador Fikret Ozer, and other officials.
The second edition of ‘Expo Turkey’ gathered throngs of businessmen from Qatar and Turkey, with some 111 Turkish companies participating in the event.
According to the Ministry of Economy and Commerce (MEC), ‘Expo Turkey by Qatar 2018’ is part of efforts by the two countries to strengthen cooperation and to establish joint investments that would contribute to increasing the volume of trade exchange.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the event, Sheikh Ahmed underscored the “steady increase” in bilateral cooperation, even as he stressed that Qatar-Turkey trade volume witnessed a more than 30% growth since the onset of the Gulf crisis in June 2017.
He also described the expo as “one of the most important events in the region,” and noted that the second edition of ‘Expo Turkey’ “is a reflection of both countries’ longstanding and established relations.”
Sheikh Ahmed said the event “reflects the keenness of Qatar and Turkey to establish practical mechanisms to develop the level of economic cooperation, increase trade volume, and explore innovative and promising horizons to open new fields that will enhance joint investments.”
“The exhibition enhances the bridges of communication between Qatar and Turkey’s private sector, and brings together the most prominent Turkish industrial companies under one roof, which will help enable Qatari importers secure contracts with Turkish manufacturers and represent them in the local market,” Sheikh Ahmed emphasised.
He said the joint cooperation also aims to create a strategic economic partnership that would open new markets and tap the purchasing power of more than 185mn people, which, he noted, could be developed to reach 400mn people in the future.
On the sidelines of the expo, Sheikh Ahmed held a meeting with Kaan where both officials discussed aspects of joint cooperation, especially in the economic, trade, and investment fields and means of developing them.
According to figures provided by the MEC, the volume of trade exchange between Qatar and Turkey stood at about QR2bn ($547mn) in the first half of 2017, “reflecting close economic and trade relations.”
In 2017, Qatar and Turkey signed a number of trade agreements and memoranda of understanding, including the Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement, the Encouragement and Mutual Protection of Investments Agreement, and a memorandum of understanding on Facilitating Transport and Transit Traffic to strengthen economic and commercial cooperation between Qatar, Iran, and Turkey.