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UAE to invest $10bn in Turkey after landmark visit

UAE's Mohammed bin Zayed in Ankara for talks with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for first time in a decade
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan shakes hands with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan during their meeting in Ankara (Reuters)

The United Arab Emirates slated $10bn for investment in Turkey on Wednesday, during Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan's landmark visit to Ankara to meet President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The announcement, made to Turkish media by Mohammed Hassan al-Suwaidi, chairman of UAE state investment fund ADQ, came on the day of Mohammed bin Zayed's first visit to Turkey in almost a decade.

The two countries have begun to restore relations over the past year, after 10 years of political and proxy conflicts in places such as Libya, Egypt and the Horn of Africa, and accusations that the Emiratis were plotting to take down the Turkish government.

As well as a memorandum of understanding to strengthen trade, energy and environmental ties, agreements were also signed on Wednesday covering direct Emirati investment in Turkey.

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Turkish officials said investment agreements were signed between ADQ and the Turkey Wealth Fund and Presidential Investment Office. These included:

  • A memorandum of understanding on strategic cooperation signed by ADQ and the Turkey Wealth Fund, who signed another on the establishment of a fund to invest in Turkish technology companies.
  • An accord signed with the Abu Dhabi Port Company governing port and logistics investments.
  • Another memo establishing cooperation between the two countries' stock exchanges.
  • An ADQ-Presidential Investment Office agreement covering direct investments and cooperation in Turkey in energy, petrochemicals, technology, transportation, infrastructure, health, financial services, food and agriculture. These included investments in existing and new renewable projects in Turkey.
  • Cooperation agreements between ADQ and Turkish conglomerate Kalyon Holding on energy, infrastructure and transportation, and with Turkey's CCN Group on healthcare.

The UAE's industry minister, Sultan al-Jaber, said the main purpose of the visit was to increase trade and business partnerships through sustainable, successful investments.

A well-placed source told MEE recently that the crown prince told Erdogan in a phone call earlier this year that he was ready to invest as much as $100bn.

'Economic war of independence'

The US dollar dropped 7 percent against the Turkish lira on Wednesday after news of the investment agreements broke, Bloomberg reported.

Turkey's lira had nose-dived around 10 percent against the dollar on Tuesday after President Erdogan defended recent rate cuts, and vowed to win his "economic war of independence" despite widespread criticism and pleas to reverse course.

The lira, which at one point was more than 13 against the dollar, crashed after hitting record lows in the last 11 straight sessions.

Erdogan defended the policy at a news conference late on Monday and said tighter monetary policy would not lower inflation.

"I reject policies that will contract our country, weaken it, condemn our people to unemployment, hunger and poverty," the president said.

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