Qatari $15 billion package for Turkey on fast track - report
Qatar’s plans to invest $15 billion in Turkey, announced at the height of a currency crisis last year, are on a fast track, Turkey’s envoy to the country said, according to The Peninsula.
Turkey’s close regional ally has already invested almost one-third of the money, ambassador Fikret Özer told reporters in Doha on Wednesday, the newspaper said.
Qatari leader Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani announced the financial support and investment package after a hastily-arranged meeting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Ankara in August. The visit came as a political crisis with the United States and concern about Turkey’s overheating economy pushed the Turkish lira to a record low of 7.22 per dollar.
The remainder of the $15 billion will come in the form of investments, Özer said. The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), Qatari Diar, Katara Hospitality and several other firms are already in the process of putting capital into various industries, including real estate and hospitality, he said.
Qatar and Turkey, which have formed a political and economic alliance in the region, carried out a currency swap of $3 billion last August as part of a financial package to help Turkey avoid a full-blown financial crisis. Analysts have since expressed doubts about whether the rest of the pledged amount would be divested by the Qatari government or the country’s firms.
Turkey is seeking to draw in foreign capital to help it overcome an economic downturn unseen since a financial crisis in 2001. Erdoğan’s government has repeatedly said that it will not sign a new International Monetary Fund loan accord to bolster the central bank’s depleted foreign currency reserves and to deal with a mounting pile of corporate debt that is weighing heavily on banks.
Özer said a section of the media in the United Arab Emirates was spreading propaganda about Turkey aimed at discouraging foreign investment and weakening the lira, The Peninsula reported.