The Third Gulf Studies Forum, held on 3-5 December in Doha, enabled us (academics and think tank experts from the Middle East and beyond) to discuss and share our ideas on the future of the Gulf Region. The second session of the first day focused on the economic relationship between Qatar and Turkey. In this piece, I want to summarize issues that we discussed on strengthening economic relations between Turkey and Qatar.
Before 2002, Turkey had mostly focused on building trade relations with EU countries, but since the Justice and Development Party came to power, Turkey has been trying to diversify its trade partners by seeking more economic relations with the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Latin America. Economic relations between Turkey and Qatar gained momentum during this time period, especially after the Arab Spring. A strong political will from the two countries’ leaders created an impulse to improve trade relations further. The current Turkey-Qatar trade volume is about 750 million USD and it is expected to increase to 1 billion USD soon. But this trade volume is still below the potential of both countries.
[The New Turkey, December 14, 2016]