Turkey seeks Gulf investments in energy and defense sectors after UAE talks

The visit by Turkish Vice President Cevdet Yilmaz and Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek signifies Turkey’s commitment to exploring economic cooperation opportunities and attracting investments from Saudi Arabia and the UAE


Turkey is expecting the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia to make investments in its energy and defense sectors after its top economy officials held negotiations in Abu Dhabi, two sources with knowledge of the talks said on Thursday, according to Reuters.

Turkish Vice President Cevdet Yilmaz and Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek traveled to the UAE on Wednesday to discuss various matters, including a potential visit by President Tayyip Erdogan.

President Erdogan’s recent re-election prompted the appointment of Yilmaz and Simsek to his cabinet, symbolizing a departure from the unorthodox economic policies that contributed to soaring inflation, a devalued lira currency, and depleted foreign exchange reserves.

Since 2021, Turkey has undertaken diplomatic efforts to repair strained relationships with Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Investments and financial support from Gulf nations have played a crucial role in alleviating pressure on Turkey’s economy and bolstering its foreign currency reserves.

Insiders revealed that discussions between Turkish and Gulf officials are centered around direct investments in the energy and defense sectors. However, the specific details regarding the nature, scale, and timeline of potential agreements remain uncertain.

“One can expect a significant influx of funds in the near future, particularly from the Gulf region. High-level contacts have been established between the parties involved, and direct investments from Saudi Arabia and the UAE are on the horizon,” one of the sources disclosed.

Despite repeated attempts by Reuters to seek comments from Turkey’s finance ministry and President Erdogan’s office, no immediate response was received.

Earlier, Turkish authorities had announced that Yilmaz and Simsek’s discussions with their UAE counterparts would focus on exploring economic cooperation opportunities. The officials were also scheduled to meet with President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan.

President Erdogan’s anticipated shift toward more orthodox economic policies faces a crucial test on Thursday, as the central bank, under the leadership of newly appointed governor Hafize Gaye Erkan, is expected to implement a significant interest rate hike.

The outcome of this central bank decision will likely play a vital role in Turkey’s economic trajectory moving forward, particularly in terms of restoring stability and attracting foreign investments. The potential investments from the UAE and Saudi Arabia mark a positive step towards bolstering Turkey’s energy and defense sectors, fostering economic growth, and solidifying regional partnerships.

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