Turkish Traders' New Focus: $10B Export to the UAE

With the improving relations between Turkey and the UAE, Turkish traders have a new goal: exporting 10 billion dollars of goods to the UAE. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's official visit to the Gulf country started the change. With Erdogan's visit to the UAE, the new beginning in relations between the two countries became official. The normalization steps taken in the Gulf countries and the Middle East in foreign policy will most likely continue.

During the visit of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to Turkey on November 24, he signed more than 10 agreements covering the fields of energy, finance, and trade. On the first day of Erdoğan's visit, the two countries signed 13 agreements. These agreements will develop relations in many fields from industry to technology, from agriculture to trade. They will create future cooperation opportunities.

The economic relations between Turkey and the UAE have solid foundations. President Erdogan's visit will be a driving force that will accelerate the cooperation between the two countries. The interest shown to the President and the delegation was at the highest level.

Relations Between the UAE and Turkey Strengthen

The UAE aims to strengthen its relations with Turkey, both politically and economically, with an investment focus. Thanks to this visit and the momentum that will come after, countries will strengthen trade exchange and joint cooperation in new economic sectors.

Although the foreign trade volume between Turkey and the UAE was against Turkey in 2020, this situation was reversed in 2021. UAE is among the 15 countries that invest the most in Turkey. The country directly invested $5 billion in Turkey in 2020. Turkey's exports to the UAE rose from $2.6 billion in 2020 to $5.5 billion in 2021. Non-oil trade between the two countries increased by 54 percent last year compared to 2020, reaching $13.7 billion.

The UAE has a large Turkish presence, including Turkish construction companies that have completed numerous projects in the region. Therefore, there is a very serious construction potential for Turkish contractors in the United Arab Emirates. The UAE's largest imports are gold and jewelry, followed by petrochemicals. Accordingly, Turkey's chemical and jewelry industry come to the forefront. Agriculture, steel, ready-made clothing, electronics, and machinery sectors also have significant capacities. The success of the defense industry sector is obvious. It is one of the sectors that attract the most attention. Mutual investments in the defense industry are also on the agenda of the two countries.

"Projects of the 50"

The UAE has strategic plans called "Projects of the 50" designed to set the course for the next 50 years. Projects of the 50 aim to achieve comprehensive agreements with 8 global economic markets, one of which is Turkey. The projects aim to attract 150 billion dollars of foreign investment to the country in the next 9 years in key sectors. Achieving an annual export growth rate of 10 percent in 10 important economic markets is also among the objectives of the projects.

Ismail Gülle, Chairperson of the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TIM), told Anadolu Agency (AA) that visiting the UAE has been very productive.

"The agreements struck in terms of export volume, as well as this favorable bridge formed with the business sector, give us hope that we will be able to bring the export figure to $10 billion in a very short period," he said. Also, Gülle added that the UAE was a major country that was extremely important both for the region and trade. Following the recent developments, the trade delegation's visit, which coincided with President Erdogan's, received much more traction.

Gülle continued by saying that the UAE was very sincere and hospitable to them, and the UAE's business people were getting much more interested in business opportunities in Turkey. According to Gülle, gold and jewelry are the UAE's most important imports, followed by petrochemical products. "Naturally, we consider our chemical and jewelry industries to be extremely fortunate," he remarked.

Turkey Provides Most of the UAE's Imports

Even though the trade between Turkey and the UAE wasn't in Turkey's favor, the situation was reversed in 2021. Turkey's exports to the United Arab Emirates increased from $2.6 billion in 2020 to $5.5 billion in 2021. This was a huge point in exports. In the same period, Turkey had approximately $6B of imports from the UAE. The UAE imports $245 billion in goods from throughout the world, purchasing a total of 1,275 different products, and Turkey sells 980 of those goods to the country. With that in mind, it seems likely that Turkey and the UAE's relations continue to improve.

Turkey and the UAE emphasized that it was crucial to build a greater regional consensus that guarantees peace and stability. Communication and dialogue are possible to build trust, bridging multiple perspectives on issues of concern. Therefore, it seems that we will witness more cooperation between the two countries in the coming days.