A Bright Future awaits

Mevlüt Çavusoglu, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Türkiye
Mevlüt Çavusoglu, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Türkiye

Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Türkiye is optimistic of a strong will on both sides to open a new chapter in Türkiye-UAE ties


Rhonita Patnaik

Published: Fri 11 Feb 2022, 12:00 AM

How do you view the growing relations between Türkiye and the UAE? How would you define it today?

We are pleased to see that the relations between Türkiye and the UAE are put on the right track again. Our countries clearly demonstrated their will to open a new page in our relations. The current momentum in all fields of our relations is a testimony of the fact that both sides have been ready and eager to carry the bilateral cooperation further. Built upon deep rooted and brotherly ties among our peoples, Türkiye-UAE cooperation has a bright future.

There is an enormous potential in almost every field and enhanced cooperation will benefit us both. Furthermore, Türkiye and the UAE can contribute together to the security, stability and prosperity of our region.

During the visit of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces to Türkiye in November 2021, we agreed on a positive agenda and took the first steps towards the revitalization of our relations. We signed 10 agreements to boost our cooperation on energy, environment, technology, finance, banking, customs and the prevention of the financing of terrorism. Moreover, the UAE side announced its intention to invest in Türkiye. Undoubtedly, the most important outcome of the visit was that both sides emphasized the importance of maintaining dialogue at every level and expressed the mutual will to work together on new areas of cooperation. Shortly after, I visited the UAE upon the invitation of my counterpart, brother Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed. My visit was fruitful. We discussed both regional and bilateral issues. At the same time, we work to prepare the historic visit of H.E. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to the UAE.

Last month, the Speaker of the Turkish Grand National Assembly H.E. Mustafa Şentop together with parliamentarians, visited the UAE upon the invitation of H.E. Saqr Ghobash, the Speaker of the Federal National Council. During the visit, it was decided to enhance interparliamentary contacts. In recent weeks, there have been high level contacts between our relevant Ministries on issues of trade and agriculture as well.

In less than three months time, we have made unprecedented progress in our bilateral relations. Now, we are working together to finalize several agreements to be signed during the visit of H.E. President Erdoğan. I am happy to see that there is a strong will on both sides to make use of this historic visit to open a new chapter in our relations.

In addition, we are particularly enthusiastic about the Turkish National Day at the Expo 2020 Dubai to be inaugurated by President Erdoğan on 15 February. The Expo 2020 Dubai is a big accomplishment for the UAE and Dubai, especially at a time when the world is going through a pandemic. We are pleased to participate in this successful exhibition with our own pavilion.

In your opinion, how will the ties benefit the people of both nations in terms of trade ties and people to people connect? What initiatives have been taken to promote trade and investment opportunities? What are the potential areas of cooperation between both nations?

Our relations derive its strength from common cultural values and strong bonds between our peoples. Turkish and Emirati people see each other as brothers and sisters. We share a common destiny as we live in the same region. Turkish products, Turkish cuisine, Turkish films/series are popular in the UAE and throughout the region. This makes the connection between our peoples even stronger.

We appreciate the tremendous success achieved by our Emirati brothers in building up global hubs such as Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Our companies want to extend their operations to the UAE to benefit from the international business opportunities. Enhanced cooperation between our companies and people-to-people contacts open new fields of cooperation between Türkiye and the UAE.

On trade and investment, holding the Joint Economic Commission (JEC) meeting in November 2021 after almost 5 years is an important step. On this occasion, a Turkish-Emirati Business Forum was also organised in Dubai. At the JEC meeting, cooperation on many areas such as trade, investments, health, tourism, agriculture, energy, science and civil aviation have been discussed. The Business Forum is instrumental in terms of building new bridges between our business communities.

I also want to draw attention to the 'Sectoral Trade Missions' and 'Buyers Missions' that have been organized in coordination with the Turkish Ministry of Trade. These missions are useful to see business potential by on-site visits and direct contacts with companies. During the pandemic, we continued to organize trade missions virtually. Likewise, we moved our physical trade shows into digital platforms. On this occasion, I would like to invite the UAE business community to discover the trade potential between our countries through these valuable organizations.

The UAE has significant investments in Türkiye, such as ports and retailing companies as well as in the tourism and banking sectors. We are pleased to see that the UAE has named Türkiye as among the most important eight destinations for investments. On the other side, the UAE provides a business-friendly investment environment and offers many incentives that Turkish companies can benefit from. There are many areas to invest in such as trade, industry, agriculture, services, education, health and construction.

The UAE is one of the most important commercial and financial centers of the world and a strategic hub for our trade with other Gulf countries and Asia. With its modern economic infrastructure based on new technology, well-designed free trade zones and business-friendly legal framework, the UAE is definitely an important destination for Turkish business people.

Construction, healthcare, tourism, agriculture, renewables, energy, science, civil aviation and logistics are some of the areas for mutually beneficial cooperation. As we have also discussed with our Emirati brothers during my visit to Abu Dhabi and Dubai back in December 2021, relevant authorities on both sides are working on improving the legal basis of our economic partnership to a higher and more comprehensive level through an agreement.

Another area of focus is making mutual transportation of goods between Türkiye and the UAE much faster and more efficient. A transportation agreement is in progress to achieve this goal.

Cooperation in defense industry related matters and supporting start-ups in areas extending from health to communications, from e-business to electrical vehicles are in the works.

In short, we support every effort to increase economic and commercial ties between our countries. Türkiye and the UAE economies are complementing each other. We also have a similar vision for the economic future of the region. Enhancing connectivity, investing in new energy and technologies, promoting economic integration in our region are the areas where we can deepen our cooperation.

What are some of the undertakings in the pro-normalisation policy towards the UAE?

Security, stability and the prosperity in the Middle East and the Gulf is a priority for us. We advocate close and constructive dialogue between countries. We also believe that increased cooperation among countries in the region is both good for our people and the global stability. New political dynamics in our region and the world present both challenges and opportunities. We can overcome these challenges and make use of opportunities only if we will be able to achieve a meaningful cooperation and solidarity. The new momentum in our relations constitutes a good example of what can be achieved through cooperation.

We consider the UAE as a key partner to work with towards reaching our common goal of stability and prosperity. Turkish-Emirati relations would contribute to the well-being of our entire region from both a political and economical perspective. For us, the security and stability of the Gulf region is no less important than our own. When Abu Dhabi was recently attacked with ballistic missiles and drones, we issued very clear and strong statements condemning these terror acts. We were one of the first to do so. This was a natural reaction on our side to a totally unacceptable violation of the international law. In our phone call with my brother Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, we also reiterated our mutual support in the fight against terrorism.

Our vision is similar. Our interests are mutual. Strong bonds between our peoples place a responsibility on our shoulders to work together for bringing our nations closer. As our dialogue and cooperation are getting stronger, our differences will be narrowing down. We see that the common ground on which we expand our ties is growing.

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Republic of Türkiye Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu with UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Abu Dhabi in December 2021. —  AFP
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Republic of Türkiye Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu with UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Abu Dhabi in December 2021. — AFP

Turkish companies are very much part of daily businesses in the UAE. How can this cooperation be further deepened?

Turkish companies have been present in the UAE for more than 10 years in a wide range of sectors. We are proud to see big scale investments of Turkish companies especially in the fields of hospitality, food & beverage sector, retail and construction. We support every effort to increase economic and commercial cooperation between our countries.

The best way to find new avenues of cooperation is to encourage dialogue between business sectors. Arranging and organising mutual visits of trade delegations is an essential part of connecting business communities. We can also promote Turkish and Emirati products through exhibitions, forums and conferences held in both countries. As I have stated earlier, Joint Economic Commission and Business Forum meetings are important tools.

Another area that we should be jointly working on is increasing the efficiency of transportation throughout our region. We should be looking for improvements, ways to make it faster to move products and thus enhance trade, stimulate local economies and take advantage of the principles of economies of scale.

— rhonita@khaleejtimes.com

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