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Qatar pledges to make $15 billion investment in Turkey

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) and the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani. AFP PHOTO / TURKISH PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE / Kayhan OZER

Qatar has pledged $15 billion of investment in Turkey that will be channeled into Turkish financial markets and banks, Reuters reported, citing a government source, following a meeting on Wednesday between Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Qatar’s al-Thani paid a one-day visit to the Turkish capital on Wednesday for talks with Erdoğan after a phone call on Monday.

The two met during a working lunch to discuss bilateral relations and regional developments. Turkey’s Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak also joined the meeting, the Hürriyet daily wrote.

“We attach importance to his visit, which at the same time, is an indicator that Qatar stands with Turkey,” presidential spokesman İbrahim Kalın told reporters at a press conference later in the day.

This is not Qatar’s first promise of investment in Turkey. Turkish media reported in October that Qatar was planning to invest $20 billion in Turkey in 2018 in a number of sectors including energy, telecommunications, tourism, food, health, insurance, defense, banking and shipbuilding.

With the Turkish lira in free fall against the US dollar, Erdoğan has been seeking support from Gulf countries.

The Gulf countries are the third largest source of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Turkey, after Britain and the Netherlands. Qatar made $117 million in investments in Turkey in 2017, while bilateral trade between Turkey and Qatar totaled $710 million in 2016, according to Turkish Economy Ministry data.

The lira firmed down to 5.8699 from 6.04 to the dollar after the news of the $15 billion investment, but later eased back to 5.9916.

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