The first of the business forums planned to be implemented by the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK) within the scope of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Gulf tour covering the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar and Saudi Arabia was held at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Jeddah.

The Saudi Arabia-Turkey Business Forum, which was organized in cooperation with DEIK and the Ministry of Investment of Saudi Arabia, with the participation of Minister of Foreign Affairs Hakan Fidan, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Alparslan Bayraktar, Minister of National Defense Yaşar Güler, Minister of Industry and Technology Mehmet Fatih Kacır, was highly appreciated by the business world of both countries. attracted attention.

Speaking at the event, Minister of Commerce Ömer Bolat expressed his pleasure to meet with the business world on the occasion of the Saudi Arabia-Turkey Business Forum and talked about the positive developments between the countries under the leadership of the leaders of the two countries.

Noting that they continue to bring the business world together to develop economic and commercial relations with Saudi Arabia in all its dimensions and to seize new cooperation opportunities, Bolat said that today the most respected and doing business in their own sectors from Turkey are present at the forum.

Bolat noted that they have successfully carried out activities that enable companies to contact each other, especially the Turkish Expo Fair and the Contracting Forum, which they held in Riyadh this year, and said that they had very important meetings hosted by DEIK in Ankara and Istanbul last week.

“This business forum will be a very important turning point”

Minister Bolat said, “Today, this business forum will be a very important turning point in order to address the real actors of our economic and commercial relations, the representatives of the business world, who are the actors in the field, and to evaluate the opportunities offered by our countries.” he said.

Stating that the foreign trade volume between Turkey and Saudi Arabia was approximately 6.5 billion dollars in 2022, Bolat continued his words as follows:

“Our target will be to increase this figure to 10 billion dollars in the short term and 30 billion dollars in the long term in line with the vision of our esteemed presidents. We will strengthen our economic and commercial relations in an environment where we have strong economies, qualified labor markets and successful entrepreneurs, as well as the historical and cultural ties of our countries. “The foreign trade structures of both countries that complement each other highlight the win-win principle in our commercial relations. Turkish companies have gained the trust of Saudi Arabian consumers with their product quality and business ethics from the culture of Akhism.”

“We aim to increase product diversity in foreign trade”

Minister of Commerce Bolat emphasized that Saudi Arabia is one of the important suppliers and strategic partners of the Turkish industry, especially petroleum, petroleum products and plastic products, chemicals, iron and steel products.

Noting that their priority is to increase the product variety on the way to reach the trade target, Bolat made the following statements:

“We also aim to create sustainable and unshakable ties between our business worlds. On this occasion, we, as the decision makers in the field of economy of Turkey and Saudi Arabia, will continue to work with all our strength to solve all the problems that you may encounter on this path. We are among the 10 countries that have signed the most free trade agreements in the world. As Turkey, one of the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council, we care about liberalizing our trade with the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council. In this context, we wish to liberalize our trade with the free trade agreement that we started negotiations with the Gulf Cooperation Council and to increase our commercial relations in the interests of both sides. We will start these negotiations as soon as possible with the support of the Saudi Arabian government. And we have full confidence that we will implement the agreement.”

“There are more than 1400 Saudi companies operating in our country”

Minister Bolat stated that they do not only look at the economic relations with Saudi Arabia from a bilateral dimension, but also that they have the potential to establish strong cooperation with third countries, and said that the cooperation between Turkey and Saudi Arabia will create a strong synergy, especially in projects that will facilitate the access of Gulf countries to Europe and the world.

“If a free trade agreement is signed between Turkey and the Gulf Cooperation Council, thanks to the value chains to be established, Saudi companies will have the opportunity to reach world markets not only in our country, but also through our country’s wide free trade network.” Bolat said that Turkey has the potential to reach 1.5 billion consumers with its gross national product exceeding 900 billion dollars and with the Customs Union agreement.

Bolat stated that mutual investments constitute an important dimension of economic relations and gave the following information:

“With the mutual promotion and protection of investments agreement and double taxation avoidance agreement in the field of investments, both countries offer a strong legal basis to their investors. We also offer attractive opportunities to investors with our innovative and comprehensive investment incentive programs and 19 free zones. Saudi Arabia’s more than 2 billion dollars in our country. There are direct investments and more than 1400 Saudi companies operating in our country. We thank them very much. As the Ministry of Commerce, we are always happy to help them. This fact is a clear indication of the trust of Saudi investors in our country. We are more and more Saudi investors and companies in our country. We care about the opportunities it offers and we welcome them to Turkey.”

Opportunity areas between the two countries

Minister of Commerce Bolat said that they consider the fields of digital transformation, artificial intelligence, energy efficiency and smart cities, which stand out in today’s world, as important opportunity areas in developing economic cooperation between Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

On the other hand, Bolat stated that the contracting and technical consultancy sector constitutes a very important pillar of economic cooperation and concluded his words as follows:

“The Turkish contracting industry is an important sector that has successfully completed 10,800 projects and 480 billion dollars of investment commitments in 133 different countries in the last 50 years since 1973. In 2022, Turkey ranked second among the world’s 250 largest contracting companies with 42 companies. There are strong cooperation opportunities between the two countries in the fields of smart cities and green transformation, as well as important and prestigious projects within the framework of the 2030 Vision put forward by Saudi Arabia and followed with interest by the whole world. They are ready to take part in all projects within the scope of Arabia’s 2030 Vision. The opportunities offered to the business people of the two countries by our commercial relations, which are powered by history and inspired by our common values, are increasing in every field. It is time for all of us to work and produce. It is time to achieve new achievements by working together.”

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