BY BESTENIGAR KARA
Gulf Research Center (GRC) Chairman Dr. Abdulaziz Sager touched on Treasury and Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek’s latest visit to the Gulf countries. “Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, and other Gulf countries clearly expressed their will during the high-level visits to the region. I believe that these countries will provide significant support to Turkey,” Sager said during the launching of the 2023 GCC-Turkey Economic Forum.
The bilateral trade volume between Turkey and the Gulf countries, with a total GDP of over USD 3.46tr, has increased from USD 1.6bn to around USD 22bn over the past two decades. The 2023 GCC-Turkey Economic Forum, under the auspices of the International Cooperation Platform Istanbul (UIP) and GRC on November 12-13 in Istanbul, will contribute to that figure and develop economic cooperation between the two parties. Cooperation and investment opportunities will be discussed in the agriculture, food, infrastructure, transport, logistics, tourism, finance, investment, industry, energy, and sports at the event to welcome around 200 high-level ministry officials, top executives of firms, and NGOs from the Gulf countries and Turkey. The forum is aimed to be traditionalized.
Sager said many delegations from the Gulf countries have visited Turkey this year. These delegations conducted different works to develop economic and political relations between the two parties. “We are preparing at ministerial and delegation level for six countries with the involvement of the Secretariat General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC),” he added.
The ultimate goal of the 2023 GCC-Turkey Economic Forum is to create a platform that will contribute to both parties’ investments. The Gulf countries are in significant infrastructure investments, according to Sager. “The forum will provide an opportunity for Turkish companies in this field,” he noted.
TO DIVERSIFY INVESTMENTS
The 2023 GCC-Turkey Economic Forum will contribute to the sectoral diversification of the capital to flow from the Gulf countries, according to UIP Founder Cengiz Ozgencil. “B2B meetings form the backbone of the event. These meetings will focus on sectors such as energy, trade, banking, finance, tourism, agriculture, and food security,” Ozgencil said, stressing that the origin of the forum is business opportunities in the real sector.
So far, around 70 business people, companies, and chambers of commerce from Turkey and the Gulf countries have confirmed their attendance. Ozgencil emphasized that the Gulf countries intend to develop mutual trade. “I think they will invest in the sectors to be concentrated on at the event,” he noted.
OVER 50 TURKISH FIRMS APPLIED FOR PARTICIPATION
Over 50 Turkish firms have applied to participate in the 2023 GCC-Turkey Economic Forum. The figure will reach 100 by the date of the event. “We organize six panels on a sectoral basis in the forum. The event will be an ideal opportunity to discover the potential cooperation areas and form a network for joint projects,” Ozgencil said, stressing that Vice President Cevdet Yilmaz, Treasury and Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek, Trade Minister Omer Bolat will likely attend the forum. “Moreover, DEIK President Nail Olpak will participate in the event. The ministerial participation from Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Qatar is on the carpet.”