UPDATES WITH REMARKS BY TURKISH PRESIDENT
By Serdar Bitmez
ANKARA (AA) - Turkey and Qatar signed 10 new deals on Thursday at a joint meeting held at the presidential palace in Ankara.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Qatar's Emir Tamim Hamad al-Thani co-chaired the closed-door meeting.
The 10% sale of shares of Turkey's stock exchange Borsa Istanbul topped the list of agreements made during the day.
Another agreement was inked to transfer shares of Istanbul's Istinye Park, a luxury shopping mall.
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed for joint investment in the Made in Istanbul Golden Horn Project.
The transfer and purchase of shares of the Middle East Antalya Port Operators from Turkey's Global Ports to Qatar's Terminals W.L.L. was also agreed upon.
An MoU was signed for joint promotion activities between Turkey's Commerce Ministry and Qatar's Free Zone Administration.
Another deal was reached on the establishment of a joint trade commission between the two countries.
Several MoUs were also signed for water administration, improved economic and monetary cooperation, and family and social services.
A statement of intent was signed for an exchange program for diplomats of both countries.
- 'Deep-rooted ties'
Erdogan later in the day said that the two leaders had very productive meetings.
"We will continue our solidarity with the brotherly people of Qatar, with whom we have deep-rooted ties of affection, in every field," Erdogan said on Twitter.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and his Qatari counterpart Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani also signed the joint statement of the 6th iteration of the meeting.
The meeting was also attended by Turkish National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, Treasury and Finance Minister Lutfi Elvan, Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan, Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Adil Karaismailoglu, Agriculture and Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemirli, Family, Labor and Social Services Minister Zehra Zumrut Selcuk, Communications Director Fahrettin Altun, presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin, Turkey Wealth Fund CEO Zafer Sonmez and many businesspeople.
In the past, the two countries made a total of 52 agreements and five joint declarations.
With the latest meeting, the total number of agreements has risen to 62.
In previous meetings, the committee reached consensus in many significant issues in the fields of economy, industry, safety, investment, energy, culture, intellectual property, education and youth.
The trade volume between the two countries increased by 6% in 2020 to reach $1.6 billion. Qatar’s investments in Turkey reached $22 billion, according to data provided by Turkey’s Doha Embassy.
A total of 533 Turkish companies operate in Qatar, completing construction projects to the tune of $18.5 billion.
A total of 179 companies from Qatar operate in Turkey.
The number of Qatari tourists visiting Turkey has been rising over the years, with 110,000 in 2019.