Turkiye’s Erdogan Goes On Middle Eastern Investment Raising Tour

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Saudi drone exports deal biggest ever in Turkiye’s defense industry

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is currently half way through a three-day tour to the Persian Gulf countries, which is expected to result in the signing of investment agreements worth more than US$50 billion. About 200 Turkish businessmen will accompany him on the trip.

The Turkish delegation is visiting Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, with Erdogan taking part in business forums the Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey has organized in each of these countries.

The Board’s head, Nail Olpak, stated before the trip that, following the results of the meetings, it is planned to conclude contracts in the construction and contracting sectors, as well as in healthcare, energy, transport, finance, tourism, and agriculture.

Turkish Vice President Cevdet Yilmaz said he was counting on specific agreements. “This tour also refers to long-term projects between Turkiye and several countries. Some of the direct investments will come immediately, some in the future. We expect impressive amounts.” he said, adding that the financial amounts will become known following negotiations.

A separate topic of negotiations will be cooperation with the countries of the Persian Gulf in the defense industry. In particular, Yilmaz and Turkish Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek discussed this issue during their recent trip to Qatar. Military-industrial complex news portal Savunma Sanayi notes that Qatar is buying drones, guided munitions, armored ground platforms, warships and speedboats from Turkiye. They are also negotiating the sale of Turkish Milgem-class corvettes to the Emirate. Qatar is also showing interest in Turkiye’s Altay main battle tank project.

The tour in the region began with Erdogan’s visit to Saudi Arabia, with Ankara intending to increase the annual trade turnover with Riyadh to US$30 billion.

Riyadh said on Tuesday (July 18) that it had subsequently agreed to purchase drones from Turkey’s Baykar “with the aim of enhancing the readiness of the Kingdom’s armed forces and bolstering its defence and manufacturing capabilities”. Haluk Bayraktar, the privately owned defence company’s chief executive, described the pact as the biggest defence export contract in Turkey’s history. The two sides also struck memoranda of understanding over direct investment and co-operation in the energy, media and defence sectors.

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