Turkey: Qatar Economy minister calls for joint Islamic market

HE the Minister of Economy and Commerce Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohamed al-Thani with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul

HE the Minister of Economy and Commerce Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohamed al-Thani called for establishing a joint Islamic market, based on a free-trade zone between Islamic countries.

The zone can be established by removing customs and red tape gradually, similar to the Arab free-trade zone and the Arab Customs Union project.

Speaking during the Standing Committee on Economic and Commercial Co-operation (COMCEC), the minister said that the meeting was taking place at a time of risky geopolitical climate and regional developments that require Islamic countries to unite and enhance trade and investment ties.

Speaking on behalf of the Arab group, the minister conveyed the greetings of His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The minister praised Turkish efforts in advancing joint Islamic work and carrying out COMCEC’s new strategy. He said that presidency of Erdogan to the committee is a good opportunity for it to undertake important initiatives that advances joint trade and increase it to 25% of foreign trade by 2025.

He stressed that the most important element of sustainable development is political and social stability. The minister condemned Israeli aggression on people residing in occupied Palestine and called for implementing resolutions from the UN related to liberating all occupied Arab lands and establishing a Palestinian state with Al Quds as its capital. The minister added that the key to prosperity was political stability and resolving crises peacefully. He called on supporting Islamic countries that were going through difficult times, to help them regain stability and end poverty.

The minister said that Arab countries undertook recommendations of COMCEC regarding trade and opening the door for joint investments between Islamic countries. He also stressed on the speed of economic transformations internationally, which lean towards free markets. The minister said that such a transformation requires the formation of new economic unions that can protect the interests of its members, as well as defend the Islamic culture.

HE Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohamed al-Thani reviewed the principles of the Qatari economy, which was laid by His Highness Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani. He stressed the strength of Qatar’s economy.

The minister highlighted the recent international reports that praised the Qatari government’s actions in order to create a balance in its financial and monetary policies and diversify its economic base. He pointed out that the savings volume is about 56% of GDP while foreign investments constitute about 250% of the gross domestic product.

He pointed out that the laws and regulations issued by Qatar have contributed to facilitate the procedures of doing business in the country according to international standards and gave foreign investors the opportunity to implement investment projects in various economic and service sectors with a percentage of ownership up to 100%.

The minister pointed out that Qatar has succeeded in consolidating its economic relations with all its trading partners around the world thanks to flexibility in policies and innovation in working mechanisms and smart partnerships. He stressed that the State has supported its position as an economic starting point for many international markets thanks to its strategic position and its knowledge-based logistics progress.

The minister pointed out that these efforts will represent a pivotal and essential link in the series of economic, trade and investment co-operation between the Islamic countries.

He thanked Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of the Islamic Summit and the COMCEC, and the Arab countries for the confidence which it extended to speak on behalf of the Arab Group.