(MENAFN- The Peninsula) QNA
President of the Republic of Turkey H E Recep Tayyip Erdogan will start an official visit to Qatar tomorrow, during which he will chair with the Amir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani the meetings of the 7th session of the Supreme Strategic Committee between the State of Qatar and the Republic of Turkey. This session provides a great opportunity to support and develop relations between Doha and Ankara and explore new horizons, to enhance and develop the existing cooperation mechanisms in various fields.
It is expected that during the committee's meetings, a number of important agreements will be signed that strengthen the strategic alliance between the two countries in various sectors, for the benefit of the peoples of the two countries.
The Supreme Strategic Committee between the State of Qatar and the Republic of Turkey was established in 2014, and it meets at the highest level annually and alternates between the two capitals. It is a mechanism for consultation on Qatari-Turkish relations, and it reflects the desire and commitment of the two countries to strengthen relations of cooperation and coordination, and raise them to the level of aspirations of Qatar and Turkey as brotherly countries and strategic allies.
Since its establishment, the committee has held six meetings, which resulted in the conclusion of 68 various agreements, and opened new and broad horizons for cooperation and coordination between the two countries, and contributed to strengthening trade exchange and partnerships at the economic, financial, commercial, educational, agricultural, technological and defense levels, as well as the facilities that accompanied all this for the citizens of the two countries, such as easing restrictions on investments, the prevention of double taxation and the joint exemption of travel visas for holders of ordinary passports who are citizens of the two countries.
Mutual official visits at the highest levels between the two countries, as well as political consultations, continues, as Doha and Ankara have friendly and brotherly relations.
The economic and trade relations between Qatar and Turkey have witnessed great development in recent years, and Turkey has become one of the most polarizing countries for Qatari capital in many sectors, especially commercial, tourism, agricultural, hospitality, real estate and food industries.
The volume of bilateral trade exchange increased in the last ten years from USD 340 million to USD 2.24 billion, reflecting the strength of relations between the two countries, the growth of mutual investments and the increase in joint commercial and industrial opportunities. Since 2002, construction contracts have been signed between Qatar and Turkey worth more than USD 18 billion.
In 2019, Qatar was the 7th largest construction market for Turkish companies, with projects worth about USD 1.5 billion. In 2017, Turkey opened a commercial office in Doha to encourage the Qatari business sector to invest in Turkey, coinciding with the growing development of relations between the two countries.
According to Turkish economic sources, Qatar chooses smart and strategic investments at the same time, as it works to expand its investments in the fields of food, agriculture, livestock, media sectors, and defense industries in Turkey.
There are hundreds of Turkish companies operating in the Qatari market in various economic sectors, especially trade, contracting, services and hospitality. The two sides are also looking to direct joint investments outside the two countries, especially towards the African continent, which is full of feasible investment opportunities.
The volume of Qatari investments in Turkey amounted to USD 33.2 billion, 711 Turkish companies operate in Qatar, and there are 183 Qatari companies in the Turkish market.
In May 2020, the value of the currency exchange agreement between Turkey and Qatar increased from USD 5 billion to USD 15 billion, and this helped Turkey support its stock exchange and financial markets and relieve the recent pressures caused by the depreciation of the Turkish lira, in addition to Qatar's pledge to invest USD 15 billion in the Turkish markets.
The Turkish economy is ranked 16th in the list of the largest economies in the world. Turkey is considered one of the most attractive countries for investments due to the facilities, incentives and investment opportunities it offers. Tourism is one of the most important pillars of the Turkish economy, especially in recent decades.
Despite the fluctuations in the exchange rate of the Turkish lira, the Turkish economy, which amounts to USD 720 billion, ranked second after Britain among the countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development during the second quarter of 2021, with a growth rate of more than 21 percent.
The International Monetary Fund's World Economic Outlook report expected the Turkish economy to grow by 9 percent this year, down from the previous forecast of five and eight percent.
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