Turkey's Limak lays foundation for record-breaking Kuwait airport
AA photoThe Turkish Limak Holding and its Kuwaiti partner, Al-Kharafi International, laid the foundation stone for a $4.3 billion airport terminal project - the largest tender won abroad in a single package by Turkish contractors – with a ceremony in the Gulf country on May 9.
The expansion of the Kuwait International Airport will triple its capacity to 25 million passengers a year and is the largest contract to date for a Turkish company in the Gulf state.
The new terminal was initially scheduled to be completed within six years, but Limak chairman Nihat Özdemir said it may be done within four years.
The project is part of an $8.2 billion strategic development plan for the Kuwaiti airport, which includes a new runway, a control tower and a smaller passenger terminal, Civil Aviation Chief Sheikh Salman Humoud Al-Sabah said.
The development plan is expected to be completed in 2020.
Turkish firms have been involved in projects worth a total of $6.5 billion (5.9 billion euros) in Kuwait.
Turkish companies have been awarded around $51 billion (46.79 billion euros) of contracts across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) over the past 14 years, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said at the ceremony
Turkey’s trade with the energy-rich Gulf is yet to reach its full potential, Erdoğan said.
“We want to develop trade volume with the Gulf states, which last year reached $17.4 billion [15.9 billion euros],” he added.
“Compared with the potential we have, this size is below the required level,” he said.
Negotiations between Ankara and the six countries of the GCC are underway for a free trade agreement.
The GCC groups Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Erdoğan, who told reporters he was happy with his government’s political ties with the GCC, had previously said he aims to boost cooperation in the economic and defense sectors.
Erdoğan and Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah also held a tete-a-tete meeting.
The leaders were set to discuss regional and international issues as well as bilateral relations to seek further cooperation, the president’s press office said before the meeting.