In a boost to trade ties and long-term partnership, Turkey, Iran and Qatar are set to sign a deal to establish a land route via Iran for trade between Turkey and Qatar, Turkish envoy to Qatar HE Fikret Ozer has said.
"Trade between Qatar and Turkey has increased since the unjust blockade was imposed on Qatar by the Saudi-led bloc. The new land route will significantly enhance trade between the countries," Ozer told Qatar Tribune on Monday.
According to the envoy, ministers of the three countries will soon sign the agreement to establish the land route.
The remarks of Ozer follow the recent statement of Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci in which he had said,"We're thinking of alternatives for land trade routes with Qatar, and the easiest way is through Iran."
Zeybekci also pointed out that using cargo planes to transport goods to Qatar was not sustainable."We want to make it economic, sustainable and reliable," he said, adding shipments by sea would be given importance."We foresee that at least four large tonnage ships would go to Qatar monthly but the land route is an alternative for transportation of smaller packages,"Zeybekci said..
The Turlish envoy said trade between Turkey and Qatar was about QR750 million in 2016.
The envoy said Turkey's exports to Qatar was around QR500 million while Qatari exports to Turkey was about QR250 million. He said most of the Qatari exports were in the petrochemical sector.
The envoy, however, reiterated that the trade volume between the two countries is expected to jump this year due to the blockade imposed on Qatar.
"The relationship between the two countries under the leadership of the Emir His Highness Sheikh Tamin bin Hamad al Thani and President Recep Tayyip Erdof1'f0an has been getting stronger and Turkey would stand by its obligation to Qatar,f0" the envoy added.
Qatar's investment in Turkey is over $20 billion, the second highest by any country in Turkey. In Qatar there are about 205 Turkish companies, out of which 186 are joint ventures between Turkish and Qatari businessmen.
These joint ventures together have a capital worth QR42.02 million, and most of these are in infrastructure, construction, contracting, engineering, consultancy, trade and electrical sectors.
Moreover, 19 companies in the country are fully Turkish owned with a capital worth QR62.5 million. Turkish companies in Qatar are handling projects worth about $11.6 billion, most of which are related to Fifa World Cup 2022 projects.