UAE-Turkey relations move to new level, says Emirati minister

Emirati Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology said on Wednesday that Turkey and the United Arab Emirates are entering a new era of relations, according to Anadolu News Agency.

Speaking to Turkish state broadcaster, TRT, Sultan Ahmed Al-Jaber said that Abu Dhabi Crown Prince, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan’s visit to Turkey upon the invitation of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is of great importance in many aspects.

“This visit comes at a time when the UAE and Turkey are working together on a vision of a more peaceful, stable and prosperous future for the region. The focus of this cooperation is tolerance, mutual benefit, common interests and, of course, building bridges,” Al-Jaber said.

Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on Wednesday hosted the Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, inking major deals as the two countries set out to improve bilateral relations after years of rivalry.

In what was the first meeting between the two leaders in almost a decade since the Crown Prince’s last visit to Turkey in 2012, Erdogan welcomed bin Zayed at the presidential palace in the capital, Ankara, Wednesday.

The main goal of the visit, Al-Jaber said, is to support the creation of economic value by fostering trade and business partnerships, and by securing successful sustainable investments, Al-Jaber said.

Al-Nahyan has arrived in Ankara on Wednesday for his first to Turkey since 2012, and the first top-level meeting between the UAE and Turkey in recent years.

“The UAE and Turkey have the two most dynamic economies and societies in the region. We both have different cultures, we are both focused on the economic path, and we believe that the economic process is the key to a sustainable future,” the Emirati Minister said.

He also said that the Turkey-UAE relations are not new and the two countries have enjoyed social, economic and cultural cooperation for many years.

“The visit of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan at the invitation of President Erdogan, truly marks a new era in taking this relationship to a new level. Both countries have very strong common foundations. We can and should develop this.”

Al-Jaber explained that they have comprehensively discussed the partnership between Turkey and the UAE, and this cooperation will be built on the existing ground between the two countries. The economic, trade and social ties in multiple sectors will be developed, he also said.

“Of course, this includes energy, health, food, agriculture, logistics, ports, transportation, industry, manufacturing, infrastructure, finance and capital markets, technology, tourism, culture and more,” he elaborated.

He went on to say that the cooperation “also covers global issues such as climate change, energy, food and water security.”

Al-Jaber pointed out that the UAE is Turkey’s largest regional trading partner, stating that the UAE’s exports to Turkey increased by more than 110 per cent from 2019 to 2020, with total trade increasing by 21 per cent. The UAE has invested mostly in Turkey’s transportation, renewable energy and tourism sectors in the last five years.

Turkish investments in the UAE have also focused on construction, automotive parts and renewable energy, he said, adding: “Now we are looking forward to moving to the next stage and seeking further cooperation and investment. We are ready to develop these successful investments by identifying pathways. I look forward to expanding these partnerships across a range of fields and industries.”

Citing a mutual vision for common interest, general commitment and peace, stability and real prosperity, Al-Jaber said, “From our conversations with our various Turkish counterparts and partners, we have a very similar perspective, and it has become clear that we strategically agree on a number of important topics.”

He stated that the “art of partnership” is in their DNA and emphasized that it is the key to their success in the past years.

Celebrating the UAE’s 50th anniversary, the Minister stressed that building partnerships and bridges will continue to be at the center of their development plans for the next 50 years.

The UAE focuses on prioritizing sustainable economic growth and prosperity together with regional and global partners, Al-Jaber. “This means establishing stronger economic, commercial and cultural ties with countries around the world, such as Turkey. Turkey is a great natural partner for us as a close regional neighbor.”

Inviting the Turkish people to the UAE, the Emirati Minister also recommended visiting Expo 2020 currently hosted in Dubai to see how 192 countries, including Turkey, have come together to “connect their minds and create the future”.

$10bn UAE new investments in Turkey

President Erdogan and Prince Mohammed bin Zayed on Wednesday held talks with one another regarding expanded cooperation and various regional and international developments, before the President dined with the Crown Prince as is customary.

Following their meetings, the chairman of UAE state investment fund, ADQ, Mohammed Hassan Al-Suwaidi, announced to Turkish media that Abu Dhabi will be investing $10 billion into Turkey through a variety of agreements and projects.

Signed between the ADQ and the Turkey Wealth Fund and Presidential Investment Office, the investment agreements include those in ports and logistics by the Abu Dhabi Port Company and cooperation between the two countries’ stock exchanges.

An agreement was struck for direct investments and cooperation in the sectors of energy, petrochemicals, technology, transportation, infrastructure, health, financial services, food and agriculture.

Additionally, investments are to be pumped into renewable energy in Turkey, covering both existing and new projects. A memorandum of understanding was also made in order to generally strengthen ties in trade, energy and environmental issues.

According to the Emirati Industry Minister, Sultan Al-Jaber, the main purpose of the Crown Prince’s visit was to increase partnerships in trade and business between the two countries through a set of sustainable investments.