The value of Turkish exports to Qatar is expected to return to $1.2bn levels this year as the international community tries to recover from the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a Turkish consultancy firm.
Citing figures from the Turkish Statistical Institute, Shedu Consulting managing partner Deniz Kutlu told Gulf Times Wednesday that Turkey’s exports to Qatar “were at a historic high in 2019.” However, Turkey recorded a decrease in trade figures between both countries compared to 2020 as a consequence of the impact of Covid-19 on global economies.
“We can clearly see the impact of Covid-19 in 2020 when Turkey’s exports dropped below the $1bn threshold. In 2021, Turkey’s exports to Qatar jumped back to the $1bn levels, and in 2022, we estimate to have annual exports to be around the $1.2bn levels again,” Kutlu explained.
Like many other countries, Kutlu emphasised that Turkey tried its best to adapt to new pandemic-related policies on international trade, including travel restrictions and other measures.
“But 2021 turned out to be a better year compared to 2020 when Covid-19 suddenly hit national economies. Hopefully, 2022 will be a much better year for Turkey, Qatar, and the rest of the global markets,” he noted.
According to Kutlu, while Shedu Consulting is expecting an increase in bilateral trade between Turkey and Qatar this year, “the magnitude of this increase” is closely tied to the spread of Covid-19 and the travel restrictions imposed by relevant authorities in both countries.
“Currently, some of the measures like quarantine upon arrival act as a kind of non-tariff barrier restricting the true potential of bilateral trade. On the other hand, countries with relatively flexible travel policies enjoy an increase in trade and tourism income at the expense of countries with relatively stricter travel policies,” he further explained.
Kutlu pointed out that natural gas remains as Qatar’s top export product to Turkey. He said natural gas and mineral fuels accounted for more than 60% of Qatar’s total exports worth $450mn in 2021. ‘Aluminium and aluminium articles’, on the other hand, is the second major export item, which accounted for nearly 20% of Qatar’s total exports to Turkey, said Kutlu, citing data from the International Trade Centre (ITC).
“Apart from trade in goods, Qatar has been a major exporter of foreign direct investments (FDIs) in Turkey. Qatar’s investments in Turkey are quite diversified and include industries like real estate, services, manufacturing, and finance. So, many business people do not consider Qatar as a trade partner only but also as a possible joint venture partner,” Kutlu added.