By December last year, Qatar’s total investments in Turkey reached $22 billion.
Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani met Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul on Friday to kickstart the Qatar-Turkey Strategic Dialogue, which sees officials from both countries hold discussions to boost ties in various sectors.
The meeting is set to address steps to deepen and advance the bilateral cooperation, according to a presidential statement.
Last year’s strategic dialogue took place in Doha and saw Qatar and Turkey sign up to 12 new agreements.
Earlier on Friday, Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani met his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu in Istanbul. The preparatory meeting between the two foreign ministers dealt with enhancing bilateral cooperation and saw the two touch on regional and international issues.
“The meeting also discussed the latest regional and international developments of joint interest, the Russian-Ukrainian crisis and the role of Turkey in transporting grain,” stated Qatar’s foreign ministry.
Other regional developments included the latest Algeria Declaration, signed between Palestinian factions, as well as the situation in Iraq and Libya.
Sheikh Mohammed described the talks as “constructive”, noting both countries are keen on developing economic, investment, and trade ties.
Trade ties between Doha and Ankara have exponentially increased in recent years.
Between 2020 and 2021 alone, trade volume saw a 6% increase, reaching $1.6 billion. By December last year, Qatar’s total investments in Turkey reached $22 billion.
The Spokesperson for Qatar’s Foreign Ministry Dr. Majed Al-Ansari told state news agency Qatar News Agency that there are 711 Turkish companies operating in the Gulf state. There are also 644 companies with Qatar-Turkish capital in the private sector, with Doha representing one of the largest investors in Ankara.
The Qatari diplomat added that efforts to enhance bilateral trade continued during the Covid-19 outbreak, which hit economies globally.
In September 2020, 1,500 companies from both countries virtually participated at the Qatar-Turkey Business Forum.
During the same year, Qatar and Turkey signed an agreement finalising the transfer of shares in Istanbul’s IstinyePark, one of the country’s most famous luxury shopping malls.
According to a previous report by The Daily Sabah released at the time, Qatar Holding paid $1 billion to purchase 42% of Istinye Park.
On a political level, Dr. Al-Ansari told QNA that he expects to see “more coordination between Doha and Ankara in the international arena” in an effort to reduce escalations globally.
Last year, Qatar and Turkey cooperated with the interim Afghan government to ensure Afghanistan’s airports return to operations following the Taliban takeover of Kabul last year.
Qatar and Turkey had also cooperated to help release seven Turkish civilians who were held by Libyan General Khalifa Haftar’s forces.
Ankara was also quick to stand by Doha at the height of the 2017 GCC crisis, which saw Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and Egypt impose an illegal air, land and sea blockade on Doha.
During the region’s worst diplomatic dispute, Turkey sent some of its military personnel to Qatar, and Turkish products filled supermarket shelves in the Gulf state.
The feud was resolved in 2021 under the Al-Ula Declaration, which saw the lifting of the illegal embargo and the resumption of ties between the Arab states.
Meanwhile, with the 2022 FIFA World Cup just weeks away, Turkey most recently agreed to provide Qatar with security assistance.
Earlier this month, Turkish legislators agreed to deploy its troops to Qatar for six months under Operation World Cup Shield.
Turkey announced in July plans of sending chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defence (CBRN) personnel during the event. The Turkish Armed Forces have been carrying out CBRN duties since 1930.
In December last year, Turkey announced plans to send some 3,000 members of its riot police units to Qatar for the World Cup.
Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu told the press that the number of officers may be increased, with a general coordinator from Turkish law enforcement, more than 40 security advisers, and search dogs to be dispatched to Qatar.