Gulf hydrocarbon producers and Turkey are considering creating a $10-million company to undertake joint investment in the two regions as part of an agreement to expand commercial and investment ties.
More than 500 officials and businessmen from the six-nation Gulf Cooperation council (GCC) and Turkey discussed economic links at a conference in Istanbul last week, the largest joint forum staged by the two sides.
The two sides agreed to work for doubling trade from its around $13 billion in 2011 and to promote joint projects in the two areas, according to the Saudi-based Federation of GCC Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FGCCI).
“The two sides also discussed a proposal to create a joint company with a capital of $10 million to identify investment opportunities in the GCC and Turkey.”
In a statement, FGCCI said Turkey, the world’s 15th largest economy, has a great investment potential but added GCC capital in that country has remained small compared to the annual capital flow into Turkey. It cited official data showing Turkey attracted nearly $12.5 billion in foreign direct investment in 2011.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyib Erdogan opened the January 30-31 forum which brought together government delegates, businessmen and industrialists from the two sides. Projects discussed at the conference covered many sectors, including oil and gas, transport, banking, farming, industry and construction.
Turkey already has strong commercial ties with the GCC but the balance has remained largely in favour of Turkey, according to FGCCI.
In a recent study, National Commercial Bank of Saudi Arabia estimated the GCC’s total investment in Turkey at around $10 billion. It said the UAE is the largest GCC investor in Turkey, with its assets standing at $four billion.