Turkish defense, banking sectors set eyes on Kuwaiti capital
KUWAIT CITY – Hürriyet Daily News
AA PhotoPresident Abdullah Gül has used his Kuwait visit as an opportunity to re-express Turkey’s “great” interest in enhancing business and investment ties with oil-rich country, especially in the defense sector.
Turkey’s pursuit of selling some its “top-notch” defense systems and drawing Kuwaiti capital to its local banking sector has dominated the president’s three-day official visit to Kuwait that began on April 1.
A large delegation of defense company representatives accompanied Gül during his Kuwait visit, with the aim of clinching new contracts with the oil-rich country.
“There is $4.5 trillion [in Kuwait]. Everybody is trying to draw attention to themself and we’re also examing how we can attract them” Gül told a group of reporters on April 1 in Kuwait.
“That is why we brought prominent businessmen with us,” he said.
Gül said particularly the defense industry offers good opportunities to meet locally developed arms systems with the Gulf country’s capital.
Recalling the Turkish Chief of Staff Necdet Özel paid a visit to the country in January to hold talks with Kuwaiti officials, Gül said Turkish companies’ contributions in some of the largest defense projects of Kuwait have been discussed.
The Turkish defense vehicle manufacturers Otokar, Nurol and FNS have also made contact with Kuwaiti officials and the ordering process is ongoing, he said.
Gül stressed some indigenously armored vehicles have been tested in Kuwait successfully and the parties are working on cooperation in a vast field that includes coast guard boats and other warships.
As part of his visit, Gül also delivered a speech at Turkish-Kuwaiti Business Forum, inviting Kuwaiti businessmen to ramp up their involvement in the Turkish market.
“Turkey is a country with low risks, but high gains,” said Gül.
He said he had talks with Kuwaiti banking sector representatives and Kuwait’s Amir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah ahead of attending the forum, and they declared they will become more active in the Turkish banking sector.
“Kuwaiti companies are already effectively in the banking sector, but I saw that their activities will boost further. The talks we had with my friend Amir, with the prime minister and esteemed ministers both today and yesterday were very interesting and this morning, my valuable friend Amir told me he issued an order to all banks and Kuwait will become more active in Turkey, especially in investment in the banking sector,” he said.
Kuveyt Türk, which is Kuwait Finance House’s Turkey subsidiary that operates in the Islamic banking sector and Burgan Bank that entered Turkey through acquiring Eurobank Tekfen in 2012 are among Kuwait-capitalized lenders in Turkey.