Expansion projects across various sectors in the country would play a significant role in bolstering investment ties between Qatar and Turkey, ambassador Fikret Ozer said yesterday.
According to Ozer, Qatari investments in Turkey are currently valued at around $22bn. On the other hand, Turkish construction companies based in Qatar have invested $16bn worth of projects, the ambassador said, noting that he expects the value of both countries’ investments “to increase further,” citing Qatar and Turkey’s robust economic ties.
“We are waiting for other major projects in Qatar, such as expansion plans announced by authorities of Hamad International Airport and the metro lines. Our companies are now bidding for these projects and we are waiting for the results,” Ozer said on the sidelines of Index Qatar, which will run until October 24 at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre (DECC).
“Also, following Qatar Petroleum’s announcement to increase Qatar’s LNG production capacity from the current 77mn tonnes per year (mtpy) to 110mtpy, some of our companies are also looking for opportunities to participate, including the Ras Laffan expansion project,” the ambassador continued.
On Index Qatar, as many as 15 Turkish companies are participating in the exhibition’s third edition, said the ambassador, who noted that the products on display during the three-day event are “of exquisite quality” and reflect “original Turkish designs.”
“I believe this exhibition will be helpful in providing exposure for Turkish products to Qatari buyers; this would help increase, particularly, the volume of Turkish furniture exports to Qatar,” Ozer said.
He also said: “Turkish companies are aware that major infrastructure projects are nearing completion but there will still be a market for the interior needs of buildings, so many of our companies are here in Qatar for interior design, and we expect more of these companies coming to the market in the future.”
According to the ambassador, the value of Turkish exports to Qatar “is increasing” and that since 2016, the figures “more than doubled” from $435mn to $1.1bn by the end of last year.
“But our target is to increase these figures further by the end of 2019. Turkey produces high-quality products at competitive prices. Turkish products are also at par with their international counterparts in terms of quality but at a lower cost.
“If this trend continues, the embassy believes that we could reach our bilateral trade targets for 2019 between Turkey and Qatar, which we are optimistic that they would exceed the figures recorded in 2018,” Ozer explained.
Qatar-Turkey bilateral trade stood at $2.3bn in 2018; by the end of the year, the embassy is anticipating total trade exchange to breach the $2.4bn to $2.5bn mark, the ambassador
Major Turkish exports to Qatar comprise of construction materials, furniture, interior design products, food stuff, machinery, and defence products, he said. Citing figures released by Qatar Chamber, Ozer said there are around 190 Turkish companies operating in Qatar in 2018, “but we believe that the numbers have increased this year.”
Fikret Ozer, ambassador, Turkey. PICTURE: Jayan Orma