Turkey hopes to boost its exports to Qatar, through a new land route in Iran, Turkey’s ambassador to Qatar Fikret Ozer said. Speaking to reporters during an inauguration ceremony at the Turkish Hospital, Ozet said trade volume between Qatar and Turkey is expected to increase further once the new route is opened.
“We are trying to facilitate the transportation of goods between Turkey and Qatar. Normally, we are bringing our products by sea because there is no land route between Qatar and Turkey.
“But now there is co-operation between Qatar, Iran, and Turkey so there will be a new route between these countries. In due time, we will announce the agreement, which will be signed by the relevant ministers,” Ozet pointed out.
Speaking on Qatar-Turkey relations, Ozet emphasised that political relations between Qatar and Turkey “are on very excellent levels.”
“Similarly, the relationship between Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani are also excellent,” he further stressed.
He said trade volume between Qatar and Turkey in 2016 stood at “approximately $750mn.” The volume is expected to increase after Turkey started exporting more of its products since the economic embargo imposed against Qatar in June, he added.
“Our large-scale exports to Qatar amounted to $500mn and the remaining balance ($250mn) was what we imported from Qatar, particularly petrochemical products.
“Trade volume between our countries increased dramatically in 2017 due to the unjust siege imposed on Qatar. Since then, Turkey exported a wide range of products to Qatar, including food stuff and construction materials,” the ambassador explained.
In August this year, state-run Qatar News Agency (QNA) reported that Turkish Minister of Economy Nihat Zeybekci has announced a tripartite agreement between Ankara, Doha, and Tehran on the transfer of goods from Turkey via Iran.
“The verbal agreement will become an official agreement within days,” the minister was quoted as saying.
QNA also reported that Zeybekci, in a statement to Turkish Anadolu Agency, said he had recently met with Qatar’s Minister of Economy and Commerce HE Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohamed al-Thani, and reached a verbal agreement on the transport of goods by road from Turkey to Iranian ports, and then transporting the trucks through Ro-Ro (Roll-on/roll-off) ships to Qatar. He pointed out that a verbal agreement has also been reached with Iran, and that the agreement was expected to be transformed into a written text in the coming days.