Despite the impact of Covid-19 on global export markets last year, Turkey’s exports to Qatar is expected to recover and anticipated to cross the $1bn mark in 2021, an official of a Turkish consultancy firm has said.
“Turkey's exports to Qatar decreased slightly in 2020 compared to 2019. In 2019, Turkey's exports to Qatar stood at $1.27bn. In 2020, this figure dropped to $972mn mainly due to Covid-19,” Cigdem Ulug Kutlu, partner Shedu Consulting & International Trade, told Gulf Times.
“Considering the negative impact of the pandemic this is an expected outcome. However, I believe that the delayed demand in 2020, especially for non-essential products, was the main source of decrease in Turkey’s exports to Qatar; and in 2021, Turkish exports to Qatar will recover and surpass $1bn level again,” she stressed.
Kutlu said Qatar has been “one of fastest growing export markets” for Turkey in the last decade. She said Turkey's exports to Qatar amounted nearly “$190mn” in 2011, and this figure exceeded “$1bn” in 2018.
“Turkey's share in Qatar's total imports was only 1% in 2011 and this figure increased to a historic highest level of 4% in 2018. There are several reasons for the increase in Turkey's exports to Qatar, such as good political relations, Qatar's increased demand for goods and services due to 2022 FIFA World Cup, and increased awareness among Turkish businesses about Qatar.
“However, beyond all these, the economic blockade in June 2017 was a breakthrough in bilateral trade relations between Turkey and Qatar; 2017 was the year when Turkey’s exports to Qatar increased most,” Kutlu said.
Kutlu pointed out that Qatar has been Shedu Consulting’s “top destination” and ranks first in terms of business events that the company has been organising for a wide range of Turkish business associations eyeing to tap international markets.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, online events, such virtual trade delegations, B2B meetings, and networking, have been connecting Turkish companies with their business counterparts around the world, Kutlu explained.
Since 2014, Kutlu said Shedu Consulting had organised more than 20 major business events in Qatar. During the pandemic, more than 50 Qatari companies virtually met with Turkish suppliers and held over 100 B2B meetings during two separate online events, she said.
“Compared to the other markets that we serve, Qatar seems to have adopted very quickly to the pandemic and Qatari company managers seem to be willing to attend such virtual events, thus we are planning to organise more online events targeting Qatar in 2021.
Kutlu added: “In addition to virtual events, we have also helped several Qatari companies to source goods and services from Turkey. At the beginning of the pandemic and due to the travel restrictions and lockdowns, many Qatari procurement managers, supply chain managers, and importers like their counterparts in other countries, faced different challenges in quality control and risk management. As Shedu Consulting, we acted as their liaison office and helped manage relations with their vendors.”