BY BESTENIGAR KARA
The bilateral trade volume between Turkey and UAE, which celebrate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations this year, exceeded USD 14bn in January-September. On the one hand, the two countries strive to raise mutual investments and trade; on the other hand, they have pulled the trigger on evaluating cooperation opportunities in the third countries.
UAE plans to invest a significant amount in developing countries, according to Trade Minister Prof. Dr. Omer Bolat. “We are determined to implement joint investment projects, especially in Africa and the Middle East, by combining the sectors in which two brother countries predominate,” Bolat said at the Turkey-United Arab Emirates (UAE) Business Forum. Bolat emphasized Turkey’s dominance in the manufacturing, construction, and services industries and the UAE’s dominance in the finance, services, transport, logistics, and energy sectors. Within this frame, energy, construction, agriculture, food, education, and infrastructure are among the outstanding joint investment areas of Turkey and UAE in the third countries.
The Turkey-UAE Business Forum, hosted by the Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey (DEIK), was held on October 31 in Istanbul to discuss the cooperation opportunities between Turkey and UAE in trade, investment, construction, customs, and third countries. Over 100 professionals from UAE and Turkey attended the event, which focused on energy, digital technologies, construction, food and agriculture, the defense industry, health, tourism, automotive, aerospace, transport, and logistics sectors.
Trade Minister Prof. Dr. Omer Bolat stated that the UAE is one of Turkey’s top trading partners in the Gulf region. “The bilateral trade volume between Turkey and UAE reached around USD 10bn last year. The figure almost doubled to exceed USD 14bn in January-September, year-over-year,” Bolat noted.
Turkey and UAE signed the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) in March 2023, which has entered into force as of September 1. Touching on the Turkey-UAE CEPA, Bolat said it covers more than 80% of the goods trade. “With the agreement, we have ensured that people of the two countries can enter UAE and Turkey under more advantageous conditions than the third countries,” Bolat noted. “Our goal is to raise the bilateral trade volume to USD 25bn with the support of the positive momentum by the Turkey-UAE CEPA.”
OVER 50% OF UAE INVESTMENTS TO FOCUS ON RENEWABLES
The trade minister reiterated that 13 agreements with an investment of USD 50.7bn were signed in July on the sidelines of the visit by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to UAE. USD 27bn of that figure will be invested in the renewable energy industry in Turkey. “The contribution of oil production to the GDP will be reduced to 36% in the UAE economy in 2030, in line with the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030. It also aims to direct investments primarily to many sectors, such as renewables, petrochemicals metals, defense and aerospace industry,” Bolat said, stressing that the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 is a significant road map for Turkish companies willing to invest in UAE.
AMIRATE CAPITAL HITS USD 7.8BN IN TURKEY
The investments by UAE in the sectors, including energy, logistics, renewables, finance, and e-commerce, in Turkey have reached USD 7.8bn as of 2021, according to UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade Dr. Thani Bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi. The Minister emphasized that the Turkey-UAE CEPA has brought the trade and investment opportunities to a good point. “Considering the last two years, we see that bilateral relations have been carried to a better level with the demonstration of common will as a result of the high-level visits of UAE and Turkey,” Al Zeyoudi said, adding that Turkey is among the top 10 trading partners of UAE. He also noted that the two countries can cooperate in fields such as innovation and development.
Different collaboration deals were signed on the sidelines of the Turkey-UAE Business Forum, where UAE Special Envoy to the Republic of Turkey Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansoori, Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce, and Industry CEO Ahmed Khalifa Al Qubaisi and DEIK President Nail Olpak delivered speeches.