Türkiye’s strong bilateral ties with Qatar open up new avenues of trade and investment with the Gulf nation, Burak Dağlıoğlu tells Doha News in an exclusive interview.
The strong and ever-growing diplomatic relations between Qatar and Turkey paved the way for new investments to spike between both nations in recent years, said Burak Dağlıoğlu, President of the Investment Office of the Presidency of the Republic of Türkiye, to Doha News.
Both counties have signed more than a dozen agreements in December alone during a visit by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to Doha. Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani also oversaw the seventh major summit with the Turkish president to coordinate strategies between the two close allies.
Qatar’s investments in Türkiye
With better diplomacy, the investment seems to come hand-in-hand. The Gulf nation already holds significant stakes in various sectors within Türkiye, including banking, retail, property and the financial sector.
“In financial services, there are a few banks owned by Qatari companies. There are a few other capital market players. There are investments in food processing. There are investments in infrastructure, port operators, and much more,” the official said.
The investments are spread over different sectors in the country, he added. Qatar Holding, for example, has a 42% stake in one of Istanbul’s largest shopping malls. Borsa Istanbul, Turkey’s largest stock exchange, holds a 10% stake by The Qatar Investment Authority.
Digiturk, one of Istanbul’s largest sports and entertainment broadcasters, is owned by Qatar’s beIN Sports. The Qatar National Bank owns Türkiye’s Finansbank, while other Qatari firms have huge stakes in Turkey’s largest banks.
As the Southwestern Asian country continues to grapple with high inflation and struggling currency, its economic ties with the Gulf nation seem to open up new avenues of trade and considerably strengthen investments.
Qatar has around $33.2bn in foreign direct investments in Türkiye, making it the second-largest single investor in the country. Meanwhile, trade volume between the two countries increased by 57% in 2018, compared to 2017, and reached a level of USD 1.4 billion.
Currently, it sits at some 1.6/1.8 billion US dollars, according to the official. There are some 711 Turkish companies operating in Qatar as bilateral trade hits billions of dollars.
“Qatar has become the second largest investing country in terms of the FDI stock. So, this is huge growth. When you look at the sector breakdown of those investments, there are financial services, retail properties investments, infrastructure investments, food processing, and more recently, technology investments are on the rise,” the official told Doha News.
Private sector and individual interest
But companies are not the only major investors in Türkiye, Dağlıoğlu stated, individuals also make up a huge portion of the expenditure.
“When we look at Türkiye, there are more than 200 companies with Qatari capital. Not only companies but also individuals are interested in investing in Türkiye. So you can see that they are buying properties. They are investing in such businesses as individuals as well,” the official highlighted.
In the last two decades, Türkiye attracted 240 billion US dollars in investments, which documents a good track record of FDI inflows. Such hopeful numbers, the president of the Investment Office highlights, give basis to the future of projects in the country.
“Companies are looking for strengthening tier global supply chains, and Türkiye offers a very important, very crucial justice location for them to access the markets in Europe, in the Middle East and Northern African region,” he stated.
“So we will see more and more investments of global companies to strengthen their supply basis in Turkey. They already have a footprint in Turkey, and this will continue to grow. So we will not see just one of the manufacturing projects, but others too.”
Investments in technology
To diversify investments, both countries have been in talks to enhance investments in technology, Dağlıoğlu revealed to Doha News during the Doha Forum.
“Technology is a rising trend now, and Qatari investments in that area are prominent,” the official said.
“In recent years, we are seeing that global fund managers, sovereign wealth funds of the countries, and strategic investors are investing in Türkiye’s technology, and startups and this trend will continue to grow. Trust me, we will continue and we will see more and more investment news.”
Türkiye has been seen as a resilient and fast-growing economy thanks to the major trade deals the country has gripped in the last years. It offers a business-friendly investment climate and a deep and competent talent pool, the Dağlıoğlu stated.