Qatar’s sustainable growth in the past 20 years is seen as one of the key factors in the development of Turkey’s bilateral trade with the LNG-rich Gulf state, according to a top official of the Turkish Exporters’ Assembly (TIM).
Speaking at a virtual B2B and networking event held recently, TIM chairman Ismail Gulle stressed that in 2001, Turkey’s exports to Qatar stood “only at $8mn,” but annual export figures surpassed the “$1bn” mark in 2020.
The virtual event, which catered to business delegations from Qatar and Oman, was organised by TIM – the umbrella organisation for Turkish exporters representing more than 95,000 exporters from 27 different sectors and 61 exporters associations.
Turkey’s deputy minister of Trade Gonca Yilmaz Batur, as well as Turkey’s ambassador to Qatar Mehmet Mustafa Goksu and Turkey’s ambassador to Oman Ayse Sozen Usluer also spoke during the opening ceremony.
Citing Turkey’s rising bilateral trade with both Qatar and Oman, Gulle said in his speech that the transcontinental country’s annual exports to Oman increased from only “$30mn” in 2001 to “$525mn” in 2020.
“The ongoing close economic and political relations are not the only reason for the drastic increase in bilateral trade with Oman and Qatar. Both countries managed to record sustainable economic growth in the last two decades, which, in turn, helped Turkey develop its bilateral trade with these two friendly states in the Gulf region.
“In 2001, Qatar’s GDP stood at $20bn, while Oman’s GDP was $19bn. In 2019, these figures reached $175bn and $76bn, respectively…this helped the two countries increase trade relations with their international partners, including Turkey,” Gulle pointed out.
During the virtual event, 19 Turkish manufacturers from several industries, including building materials, chemicals, industrial kitchen, and engineering products, as well as the defence sector, met online with 28 companies from Qatar and 57 from Oman.
A total of 192 one-on-one meetings were held between companies during the online event; due to high demand from Omani and Qatari companies, the online event was extended for one week.
In her speech, Batur underscored the importance attached by the Turkish Ministry of Trade to the virtual trade delegations and virtual exhibitions held during the pandemic. Since June 2020, 45 virtual trade delegations were organised with the support and sponsorship of Turkish Ministry of Trade, and 877 Turkish exporters met online with 2,098 importers and over 7,000 online B2B meetings were held with the participating companies.