Turkey Expo 2018 aims to boost exports to Qatar, more than 100 Turkish companies represented
Özgür Korkmaz - DOHA
A high profile trade fair held this week in the Qatari capital Doha aims to help Turkish companies increase their share of the oil-rich Gulf state’s imports.
Expo Turkey 2018 brings together more than 100 Turkish companies from a range of sectors, including construction, real estate, technology, health, tourism, energy, environmental management, infrastructure, furniture, food, transportation and agriculture.
The official opening ceremony of the three-day trade fair, organized in cooperation with Turkey’s Independent Industrialist and Businessmen Association (MÜSİAD), was held on Jan. 17 with the participation of Turkish Customs and Trade Minister Bülent Tüfenkçi, Qatari Economy and Commerce Minister Sheikh Ahmed Bin Jassim al Thani, MÜSİAD chair Abdurrahman Kaan and Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, head of the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB).
Speaking at the fair, Trade Minister Tüfenkçi said bilateral trade between Turkey and Qatar stood at $784 million in 2015, $678 million in 2016 and $788 million in the first 11 months of 2017.
“These numbers can be, and should be much higher. Organizations such as this will help to achieve that target,” he said.
Tüfenkçi said Qatari officials have promised to prioritize Turkish firms in preparations for the 2022 World Cup. A couple of Turkish companies have already taken over some projects, with talks underway for more. Turkish firms currently account for $14.5 billion worth of projects in Qatar, according to Tüfenkçi.
“As Turks, we need to create projects to enhance our sustainable cooperation with Qatar. We should learn how to do business here and become a permanent fixture,” he added.
Sheikh Ahmed said the event “reflects the keenness of Qatar and Turkey to establish practical mechanisms to develop the level of economic cooperation, increase trade volume and explore innovative and promising horizons to open new fields to enhance joint investments.”
‘Strategic economic partnership’
The minister said the trade fair will contribute to the ability of Qatari importers to contact Turkish manufacturers and represent them in the local market.
“This joint cooperation will create a special strategic economic partnership in line with the existing market potential of more than 185 million people, which could be further expanded to reach over 400 million consumers in the region and beyond,” he said.
Hakan Kurt, general manager of Medya City Corporation, which helped organize the event, told Anadolu Agency that the event was another step towards strengthening the regional roles of both Turkey and Qatar.
“This exhibition is one of the most important projects contributing to the development of economic and commercial ties between the two countries [Turkey and Qatar],” Kurt said.
“The event aims to transform both Turkey and Qatar into regional hubs for economic cooperation by establishing bases for joint investment and promoting the development of relations – in all fields – with Qatar.”