17 May 2018 - 0:02
Qatari investments in Turkey expand to new realms
By Mohammad Shoeb I The Peninsula
DOHA: Despite the economic blockade, Qatar’s economic growth will continue with the same pace, or even faster, as the country has explored innovative ways to support and boost its growth, noted an expert.
“Qatari economy is on a growth trajectory which is unstoppable in many ways. It is one of the fastest growing economies in the Middle East.
They have been very creative in find ways to fuel this growth, and many friendly countries are supporting this growth,” Ahmed Abu-Sharkh (pictured), Country Senior Partner at KPMG told The Peninsula.
Abu-Sharkh, who was here to advise businesses and investors on opportunities in Qatar and Turkey also noted that Qatari and Turkish economic and trade relations will continue to grow and prosper with the same pace for several reasons, such as huge untapped potential for cooperation in new areas.
“Both the countries are natural allies which have a lot to share with each other”, added Abu-Sharkh who is an expert on the subject.
“Qatari investors are expanding and widening their investments in Turkey, and going beyond real estate and financial sectors which have received the bulk of their investments in the past.”
He said that Qatari investments in Turkey are currently focused on three major areas, which include energy, agriculture and light industries.
He noted that Qatar is also diversifying its investments (both in terms of geography and industry) in various other areas all over the world, including Turkey, the US, Australia, Europe, Africa and elsewhere.
Qatar and Turkey are natural partners and have forged a strategic alliance.
These relationships have further deepened and strengthened in the recent past, especially after the unjust blockade against Qatar imposed by Arab quartet in early June last year. Even before the blockade, Qatar had a lot of trust in the Turkish economy.
Turkish companies in Qatar are handling projects worth about $11.6bn, most of them are related to 2022 FIFA World Cup projects.
Qatar’s investment in Turkey is over $20bn, the second highest by any country in Turkey, which is growing very fast.
According to latest reports Qatar is expected to invest a further $19bn in Turkey within this year, with $5.2bn in a petrochemicals complex and energy projects, and $650m in the agriculture sector.
Turkey is also one of Qatar’s leading importers of non-oil products.
Abu-Sharkh highlighted that the bilateral economic relations are natural, which will continue to witness the same pace of growth over the next several years.
“The bilateral trade between Qatar and Turkey will continue to grow for two important reasons. One, Turkey has a lot to offer both in terms of expertise and raw materials.
Secondly, Qatar has the need, the potential and the resources to actually bring in these expertises from Turkey and also to invest in Turkey. So it’s a natural relationship that will continue to prosper,” he noted.
He reiterated that agriculture sector clearly is an area that is very important to Qatar at this stage in terms of achieving food security.
The other one is light industries (such as food, plastics, paper, textile and others) that Turkey has great expertise, in addition to the construction industry.
Turkey has a lot to offer to the construction sector, including construction materials and other goods related to the industry.
He also mentioned about the expanding cooperation in the field of energy, petrochemicals and other industries where both sides are working to explore more opportunities.
“We just discussed few opportunities in the energy sector in Turkey. The door is open and we are looking at that,” added Abu-Sharkh.
Asked about building gas pipeline or developing facilities in Turkey to receive more Qatari LNG, he replied in affirmative, adding that at this stage they are ideas which are being discussed and explored, but these are at early stages. However, he added that both the countries are discussing and exploring huge ideas to invest in Turkey to maximise the growth of Qatar.