In sign of improving ties, UAE plans to ramp up trade with Turkey

The United Arab Emirates is “betting on Turkey” by seeking to boost bilateral trade, the Gulf nation’s trade minister said, in the latest sign of improving ties.

The UAE hopes to double or triple trade volumes with Turkey, which it sees as a route to new markets thanks to its logistical network, Minister of State for Foreign Trade Thani al-Zeyoudi told Bloomberg in an interview published on Thursday.

The Emirates are “betting on Turkey as a country which is going to open up for us new markets through their logistics and through their supply chain”, Zeyoudi said.

The comments come after Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed announced a $10 billion fund for investments in Turkey in November, during the UAE’s first high-level visit there since 2012.

Relations between the two countries were heavily strained after a Saudi Arabia-led blockade on Qatar by Arab nations including the UAE that lasted from mid-2017 to early last year. Doha is one of Ankara’s closest allies.

The UAE and Turkey backed opposing sides in the Libyan conflict, where a fragile ceasefire has been in place since October 2020. The UAE’s ties with Turkey had also been strained over the role of Islamist groups in the tumult that followed the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings

As part of a charm offensive launched last year, Turkey has moved to repair ties with the UAE, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

The UAE has accelerated a push to step back from regional conflicts and refocus on the economy.

(A version of this article was published by the Arab Weekly and is reproduced by permission.)


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