Turkey expects Gulf countries to make direct investments of about $10 billion initially in domestic assets as part of President Tayyip Erdogan’s trip to the region in two weeks, according to two senior Turkish officials.
Erdogan is scheduled to visit leaders in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates on July 17-19, in part to drum up foreign funding that would boost Turkey’s strained economy after his re-election in May.
The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity given the talks are private and deals are not yet finalised, said overall investments of up to $30 billion are expected over a longer period in Turkey’s energy, infrastructure and defence sectors.
Direct investments worth about $10 billion “should come within a short time and this is crucial,” said one of the officials. “Expectations are high for the Gulf visit. Some important agreements will be signed.”
Erdogan’s office did not immediately comment on the matter. Officials in Riyadh, Doha and Abu Dhabi did not immediately comment either.
Since 2021, when Ankara launched a diplomatic effort to repair ties with Saudi Arabia and the UAE, investments and funding from the Gulf have helped relieve pressure on Turkey’s economy and hard currency buffer.
Last month, Turkish Vice President Cevdet Yilmaz and Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek traveled to the UAE to discuss “economic cooperation opportunities” with counterparts, and they met President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, Ankara said.
Reuters reported after the visit that Turkey came away expecting direct investments soon.
Erdogan appointed Yilmaz and Simsek after the elections in part to execute a U-turn after years of unorthodox economic policy that sent inflation soaring and net foreign reserves to a record low in May. As part of the pivot, the central bank hiked rates by 650 basis points last month.
The official said the expected investments from Gulf states would “show confidence in the Turkish economy since it would be direct investments, which is extremely important.”