In collaboration with the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce and the Embassy of Turkey in Qatar, the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) organised a high-level, informative webinar entitled, “Emerging Opportunities: Qatar & Turkey,” which explored the latest developments in Qatar’s business landscape, highlighting the growing investment opportunities in the country for Turkish companies.
As part of the QFC’s flagship #AccessQatar series, an array of engaging speakers including, Yousuf Mohamed al-Jaida, chief executive officer, QFC Authority; Sheikha Alanoud bint Hamad al-Thani, managing director (Business Development), QFC Authority; Dr M Mustafa Goksu, Turkish ambassador; Sekib Avdagic, president, Istanbul Chamber of Commerce; and Ozgur Aytan, country managing director, Havelsan, a Qatar-based Turkish firm, shared insightful presentations on the bilateral trade relations between the two countries as well as highlighting the growing opportunities available in Qatar to Turkish firms.
Offering the welcoming remarks in the high-level discussion, ambassador Goksu said, “Turkey and Qatar have a very special, strategic, and brotherly relationship, which has seen tremendous progress over the recent years. We have a renewed focus on strengthening our partnership and particularly to overcome the negative effects of Covid-19 pandemic. Qatar and Turkey are good examples of how nations can be well positioned to serve as role models of international co-operation. Our bilateral trade volume witnessed a remarkable increase from $340mn in 2010 to $2.24bn in 2019, and we have signed 53 strategic agreements. Today, 535 Turkish-Qatari joint companies are operating in Qatar.
“Turkish companies enjoy Qatar’s secure, lucrative and transparent business environment. I would like to highlight the important role of the Qatar Financial Centre and other organisations in accommodating the needs of Turkish companies and providing precise guidance.”
Ambassador Goksu continued, “Our partnership in politics and economy reflects itself very well on our cultural relations. While in 2014 Turkey welcomed 29 thousand Qataris, last year this number rose to 108 thousand people.”
Providing an informative overview of Qatar’s economy and the latest developments in the country’s foreign direct investment landscape, al-Jaida said, “Building on Qatar’s long-standing relations with Turkey and the growing strategic relations spanning across multiple areas such as business and trade, investment, science, security, people and culture, we are proud that Qatar’s business ecosystem is facilitating the necessary infrastructure for even more Qatari-Turkish joint companies to enter our national economy and seize the unmatched opportunities at hand.”
Al-Jaida continued, “We believe that Turkey is synonymous with innovation, creativity and commitment. Through the QFC’s unmatched business infrastructure and platform, we aim to attract the most vibrant and innovative Turkish companies in various fields including digital, sports, media, engineering, financial services, and other growing sectors.
“Already we have welcomed 16 Turkish firms to the QFC platform, and this number is growing as more firms look to Qatar to not only expand their operations but to also take advantage of the abundance of opportunities available here.”
In 2019, the QFC signed a memorandum of understanding with the Turkish Presidency Finance Office to introduce a passporting initiative to facilitate mutual cross-border business opportunities for companies. This initiative, in addition to the series of benefits offered by the QFC to international firms coming into Qatar, facilitates a vital gateway for more Turkish companies to enter the market in Qatar.
Avdagic said, “Turkey and Qatar are two strong, friendly countries. We must further strengthen our solid friendship with comprehensive trade and mutual investment opportunities. Therefore, we must act immediately, and now is the time to enhance our mutual initiatives and cooperation in order to increase the trade volume between our countries to $5bn.”
An informative case study of the successful business journey and operations of Havelsan, a Qatar-based Turkish software and systems integrator company that provides global solutions in the defence and informatics sectors, was presented by Aytan.
The case study highlighted the conducive nature of Qatar’s business ecosystem and how successfully it accommodates companies wishing to set up in the country for long-term business endeavour.
QFC is an onshore jurisdiction that allows registered companies to enjoy competitive benefits, such as working within a legal environment based on English common law, the right to trade in any currency, up to 100% foreign ownership, 100% repatriation of profits, 10% corporate tax on locally sourced profits, and an extensive double taxation avoidance agreement network with some 81 countries.
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