Turkish company to provide drones to Saudi Arabia

Turkish company to provide drones to Saudi Arabia

Turkish company to provide drones to Saudi Arabia

Turkish company Baykar has signed an agreement to provide its Bayraktar AKINCI unmanned combat aerial vehicles to Saudi Arabia, which Baykar CEO Haluk Bayraktar has called “the biggest defense and aviation export contract in the history of the Turkish Republic.”

The agreement was inked during President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s visit to Saudi Arabia.

“We signed an export and cooperation agreement with Saudi Arabia’s Defense Ministry,” Bayraktar wrote on Twitter.

Baykar has been holding talks with the Saudi Defense Ministry for over a year regarding the Bayraktar AKINCI drone project, said Bayraktar without providing financial details of the agreement.

He noted that before Saudi Arabia, Baykar had signed export agreements for AKINCI with six countries.

As part of the deal with Saudi Arabia, Baykar will also provide training, technical support and logistics services.

Meanwhile, expectations are running high among Turkish companies that Erdogan’s three-state Gulf tour may create new investment and cooperation opportunities for them.

Particularly, Turkish construction companies are closely watching the large-scale projects which those countries plan to carry out, hoping that they could win contracts in those projects, while investors from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar are interested in Türkiye’s logistics, finance, energy and petrochemicals industries.

Officials from the Turkish Trade Ministry noted that exports to the Gulf countries reached $21 billion and that there is huge potential to boost trade, adding that Türkiye and Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar could further bolster cooperation in a number of fields.

Saudi Arabia is one of the largest markets for Turkish contractors, while the bilateral trade between Türkiye and the kingdom climbed to $6.5 billion, with Turkish almost tripling its exports to this country to $1.1 billion from a year ago.

Turkish construction firms have undertaken $25.1 billion worth of projects in Saudi Arabia since 1972.

Turkish companies are hoping to take part in Saudi Arabia’s digital transformation, smart cities projects as well as infrastructure and real estate development works in the upcoming period.

“Turkish contractors know very well the Saudi market,” said Hüseyin Arslan from the board of the Turkish Contractors’ Association (TBB), adding that eight companies were short-listed for the projects Aramco plans to undertake.

Likewise, to date, Turkish contractors have been awarded 190 projects worth $20 billion in Qatar in the past five decades.

Turkish construction companies are now eyeing contracts in Qatar’s North Field Expansion natural gas project.

Türkiye increased its exports to Qatar by 31 percent in 2022 to $1.5 billion, while the bilateral trade volume hit $2.5 billion. Qatar’s investments in Türkiye, on the other hand, reached almost $10 billion as of the end of 2022.

The UAE is also Türkiye’s another important trading partner, with the bilateral trade standing at around $10 billion last year, and a major market for Turkish contractors.

According to officials, the UAE may invest in Türkiye’s logistics, finance, petrochemicals, renewables and infrastructure sectors in the upcoming period.

The Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement signed between Türkiye and the UAE earlier this year aims to boost the bilateral trade to $40 billion in the next five years.

To date, Turkish contractors have assumed 141 projects in the UAE worth $13 billion.

Baykar Technology,