Turkish firms to flock to Qatar ahead of world cup investments
Ali Kayalar - DOHATurkish companies are set to flock to the Qatari capital of Doha to build new business ties and seek investment opportunities at the “Expo Turkey by Qatar” in April, a timely debut organization amid developing relations between the two countries and World Cup 2022 investment opportunities of the host country.
“I have a call for Turkish businesses. There are very important opportunities in Qatar. The two countries can unite their capabilities and easily make business in third countries,” said Hakan Kurt, the chairman of the organizing firm Medyacity, in a press conference in Doha.
He also invited Qatari firms to attend the fair to witness the capabilities of Turkish companies.
Kurt said the event would be more than a fair, noting that Qatari authorities and businesses have made $19 billion worth of investments in Turkey, which ranks fourth among foreign direct investment destinations of the Gulf country, following France, England and Germany, as the U.S. ranks fifth.
Turkish contractors’ current volume in Qatar stands at $7.5 billion, he said, noting that the trade volume stands at a mere $770 million.
Some $430 million portion of this trade is from Turkey to Qatar and the rest is generated from natural gas sales to Turkey.
The opportunities in Qatar offer Turkey a way to “break the foreign currency pressure deriving from international markets,” he added.
Qatar National Convention Center (QNCC) CEO Abdul Aziz al-Emadi, on his side, said Qatar would promote the use of local currencies in the mutual trade between the two countries.
“We make business in free markets. We can suggest such a solution: We as the Qatari businesspeople can use Turkish Liras when we go to Turkey,” he said, highlighting that the values of the two countries’ currencies are similar and the ministries from both sides could endorse such a policy.
Al Emadi said Qatar wants more active role in its private sector, praising the experience of Turkish companies in the fields of industries, communications and food businesses.
The fair will take place at the massive QNCC venue, which has dozens of meeting rooms, including a main hall with a 4,000-audience capacity. The Bentley-branded leather covered seats and unique chandeliers decorated with crystals embellish the luxurious hall. Authorities said that 1,600 plates of food can be served in the hall in 20 minutes. A version of Louise Bourgeois’ world-famous Maman statute, a metal spider, stands at the entrance of the venue.
The fair will take place between April 28 and 30 amid developing military and economic relations between the two countries, a policy that is strongly backed by both Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Qatari Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.
Some 3,000 Turkish business people and 300 companies are anticipated to attend what is expected to be the largest fair in Qatar this year.
Turkey’s Independent Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association (MÜSİAD) held the High-Tech Port defense fair in Doha in October 2015, which received immense attention.
World Cup investments
Qatar has allocated $170 billion of fund for the infrastructure and service acquisitions of the FIFA World Cup 2022. Turkish companies have already obtained a share in them.
Among those companies is Turkey’s Tefken, slated to build a highway worth $2.1 billion in Doha as part of the World Cup investments.
Yapı Merkezi and STFA, two other Turkish contractors, have taken part in a $4 billion metro way project in Qatar.
Ares shipyard is currently providing guard boats to Qatar, which will meet security needs during the games.
Havelsan, a state-run defense company will deliver F-16 simulators for the Qatari Air Force.
Sources have said that Turkish firms could also win cybersecurity contracts.
Turkish restaurants have already taken their places in Doha malls and high-street neighborhoods. Nusret, the grill chain whose co-partner Nusret Gökçe turned into a social media phenomenon for his meat-cutting and salt-drizzling skills, is also preparing to join them.
As authorities put it, there are many other cooperation fields in Doha, where new high-rises are being built in many new developing areas, and the furniture sector is among these lucrative industries.