ANKARA: Turkey and Qatar signed a memorandum of understanding on Nov. 10 to enhance bilateral ties further, finalizing a number of previously agreed deals. The agreement was inked by Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Şimşek and Qatari Economy and Trade Minister Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim al-Thani in Istanbul. Şimşek said they had established a stronger foundation to further develop political and economic relations between the two countries.
“Many topics were decided today, for example the signing of an agreement over cooperation on fairs and free trade zones, actually came on the agenda in the 5th Joint Economic Commission. With the 6th Joint Economic Commission, we finalized these memoranda of understanding,” he added. “When we meet Qatari leaders, we only talk about opportunities such as, what we can do in Turkey, Qatar, Gulf countries and third world countries. That’s why we should focus more on concrete projects. Significant improvements were seen in our bilateral trade. We are still far from the desired levels,” Şimşek said.
Regarding a proposed free trade agreement, he said they expected bilateral trade volume between the two countries to rise to much higher levels once the deal is signed. As of now there are 99 companies with Qatari partners in Turkey and this number is expected to surge in the coming years, Şimşek said.