Trade and investment is set to soar between Turkey and Saudi Arabia over the coming years, as the two nations cement closer economic and political ties, according to reports Tuesday.
Turkey has allocated 25 percent of its investments in the Middle East to Saudi Arabia, with more than 200 Turkish companies operating currently in the Kingdom with turnover of about $1 billion, while the value of Saudi investments in Turkey, other than real estate, amounts to $1.9 billion.
Economists expect the state visit of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and his participation in the Islamic Summit later this week to have a positive impact on trade and investment. He is accompanied by a number of businesspeople.
Trade between the two nations stood at $8 billion in 2015, having risen from $7 billion in 2013. Saudi exports account for $4.5 billion and is focused on oil, plastics and chemicals.
Turkish exports to Saudi Arabia totaled about $3 billion and has grown by about 30 percent over the last period, and mostly concentrated in steel, textiles, furniture, appliances, tools, irrigation, agriculture, transport, and the military industry.
Recently, the Saudi Ministry of Housing announced that it was holding talks with a group of Turkish companies to build 2 million residential units across the Kingdom, with the deal expected to be worth about $240 billion.
Turkey is seeking to increase the volume of Saudi investments on its territory to $25 billion, and raise trade exchange from the current $8 billion to $20 billion by 2023. Ankara has introduced several economic reforms aimed at attracting investors including a new property and an electronic visa facility.
With regard to tourism, Turkey attracted 250,000 Saudi tourists last year, with this figure expected to increase over the coming years. More than 500,000 Turkish pilgrims visit Saudi Arabia annually, pumping some $1.3 billion into the Kingdom. There are 48 Saudi companies operating in Turkey, with Ankara making a great deal of effort to aid some troubled companies from the Kingdom. Some Saudi companies had run into problems because they had not dealt with registered traders, or consulted with the Turkish Commercial Agency, which offers free business advice.
The volume of Saudi investments in Turkish property increased to more than $2 billion in 2015. More than 300 real estate companies with links to Saudis are operating in Turkey, according to reports.
Source: Arab News