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Qatar’s investments in Turkey : Why Qatar , Not The Other Countries?

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On November 26, the Qatar and Turkey signed 10 deals, including Qatar’s purchase of 10 percent share in Turkey’s stock. Qatar will also buy a port in İstanbul’s Golden Horn and a luxury shopping mall and the two countries will enhance cooperation in several areas, including family, women and trade, according to the agreements.

Below you can read Bianet’s article on this issue published on 2 December 2020.

After the meeting of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his counterpart from Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, in Ankara on November 26, the two countries signed 10 deals, including Qatar’s purchase of 10 percent share in Turkey’s stock.

Qatar will also buy a port in İstanbul’s Golden Horn and a luxury shopping mall and the two countries will enhance cooperation in several areas, including family, women and trade, according to the agreements.

We have spoken with political scientist Dr. Birol Başkan about the deals.

The relations between Ankara and Doha were strengthened during the Arab Spring and have become “a special relationship” since the 2013 coup in Egypt, said Başkan.

“While Qatar’s direct foreign investment in Turkey amounted to only 50 million dollars in 2011, it reached 570 million dollars in 2019, although it fluctuated over the years,” said Başkan, citing the Ministry of Industry and Trade figures.

The latest deals were a part of this process, he said, recalling that Qatar previously bought large companies in Turkey as well, including Digiturk and Finansbank.

Qatar bought 10 percent of the stock exchange for 200 million dollars. Borsa İstanbul, which has 16 billion lira in cash, was valued at 2 billion dollars (15.6 billion lira).

Başkan also noted that Turkey needed more direct foreign investments compared to 2011.

“While the amount of direct foreign investment in Turkey was 16.1 billion dollars in 2011, this amount declined to 5.8 billion dollars in 2019,” he said. “In other words, Qatar’s share in foreign direct investments has risen from almost zero percent to 10 percent.”

“Of course, this can be considered as Qatar’s desire to support a country that stood by it strongly at a moment of crisis when it was almost occupied by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

“However, it should also be noted that Turkey has become an attractive country for long-term investments with the fall in the value of the Turkish lira.

“This is a buying opportunity for all long-term investors. So the real question is not why does Qatar make investments in Turkey but why can Turkey attract so few investors in a period when the dollar and Euro are abundant in the world and why does Qatar come to the fore.

“In 2019, the country with the highest foreign direct investment in Turkey was not Qatar but the Netherlands. England also made more investments in Turkey than Qatar in the same year.

Albayrak’s resignation

On the resignation of Berat Albayrak, the son-in-law of the president, as the minister of treasury and finance on November 8, Başkan said the reason for the current crisis should not be diagnosed as the “ineffective implementation of neo-liberal economic policies.”

“I believe in the necessity of a different economic approach from now on. To me, the disciplines of economics and finance shouldn’t approach this question within their narrow boundaries. They should approach it by carrying out joint studies with disciplines such as political science and sociology.” (PT/VK)

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