Turkey and Arabs seek to boost economic ties
MERSİN - Reuters
The Turkish-Arab Economy Summit was organized for the first time in the southern province of Mersin with the attendance of the economy, investment, and trade ministers of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Iraq, Jordan, Sudan, Bahrain, Morocco, Djibouti, Tunisia, Palestine, Oman and Libya, as well as Turkey.Turkey and Arab countries aim to increase their economic and trade relations and seek to trigger the process by signing a number of deals, Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan said yesterday during the Turkish-Arab Economy Summit.
The summit was organized for the first time in the southern province of Mersin with the attendance of the economy, investment, and trade ministers of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Iraq, Jordan, Sudan, Bahrain, Morocco, Djibouti, Tunisia, Palestine, Oman and Libya, as well as Turkey.
“Fourteen ministers from the 21-country Arab League are here around the same table. A total of 18 countries are represented here. We all want to tell the world that we are all determined to use trade and the economy as a means on the road to peace, fraternity, prosperity and development,” said Çağlayan.
He noted that the Arab world was one of the most prominent economic centers of the world with a collective national incomes total of $2.7 trillion of, a $2 trillion foreign trade volume, and an overall population of 400 million.“Turkey’s relations with the Arab world have surged significantly for the last decade. Turkey’s foreign trade volume with the Arab world was just around $5 billion in 2002, surging to $55 billion in 2012. There is no other trade bloc where our foreign trade volume has surged so much,” Çağlayan said.
The share last year of Arab countries in Turkey’s total exports, $152.5 billion, was almost one-fourth, around $36.2 billion.
Arab world to be biggest trade partner of Turkey
A number of deals are expected to be signed at the summit. “The Arab world will be the biggest trade partner of Turkey in 2023, when Turkey aims to reach a level of $500 billion in exports,” he said.
Muhammet al-Twaiji, the Arab League’s Deputy General Secretary responsible for economic affairs, addressed the next five years in terms of developing economic and trade ties between the league and Turkey.
“The Arab world and Turkey will take very significant steps in a number of fields, including oil and gas pipelines, electricity transmission and customs-free trade in the next five years,” he said.
Al-Twaijiri also said an electricity line was being planned between the Arab world and Europe.