Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Sunday, “I hope that visa requirements between Turkey and Qatar would be lifted soon. We want to commence a new era in our relations with Qatar like we did earlier in our relations with Syria, Jordan and Lebanon. Turkey’s gates are wide open for Qatari investors, tourists and businessmen.”

Speaking at the Turkey-Qatar Business Forum at Doha’s Four Seasons Hotel, Prime Minister Erdogan said, “Turkey is among the countries that were least-affected from the global financial crisis. Recently, our economy has begun giving signals of recovery from the crisis. As of the second half of 2009, shrinkage in our economy stopped. International organizations affirmed that Turkish economy would grow rapidly in 2010 and 2011. Our target is to make Turkish economy one of the world’s biggest economies in 2023.”

Referring to Turkey-Qatar economic and commercial relations, Erdogan said, “when we came to the political power in 2002, our trade volume with Qatar was 24 million USD. By the end of 2008, it increased up to 1.2 billion USD.”

Erdogan said, “we succeeded in drawing an approximately 20 billion USD of annual direct investments between 2006 and 2008. Direct international investment flow to Turkey exceeded 70 billion USD in the last 4 years.”

“We have mutually lifted visa requirements with Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Albania, Tajikistan and Jordan. I hope that visa requirements between Turkey and Qatar would also be lifted soon,” he added.

Following the meeting, Prime Minister Erdogan left Qatar for Turkey.

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