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Development minister: Construction firms ready for 2022 World Cup projects

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
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During his meetings with top Qatari officials, Development Minister Elvan emphasized that Turkish construction firms are willing to share their expertise, undertaking big projects in Qatar which is in the process of preparing for the 2022 FIFA World Cup

Development Minister Lütfi Elvan said Turkish contracting firms are willing to take part in all kinds of projects for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to ensure a successful and effective tournament.

Numerous sports facilities and stadiums will be built for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, many with Turkish help. Turkey's construction sector has completely a number of prestigious stadium projects in different countries.

Minister Elvan held talks with Qatar Development Planning and Statistics Minister Saleh Mohammad al-Nabit on his visit to Qatar.

Pointing out that Qatari investors are interested in Turkey, Elvan said they were pleased with investments in the financial, media and retail sectors and stressed that Turkish contracting firms, which have been operating in Qatar for a long time, have taken on 123 projects so far.

Highlighting that Turkey is ready to make all kinds of contributions regarding the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, Elvan said Qatar will build numerous sports facilities and stadiums by 2022, and Turkish contracting firms are willing to take part in all kinds of projects since they are already renowned for their many prestigious stadium projects around the world.

Expressing his gratitude to Qatari officials for their support for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the Turkish people following the Gülenist Terror Group's (FETÖ) coup attempt, Elvan said there are strong commercial relations between Turkey and Qatar; however, it is not enough, and it should be improved.

Touching on the commercial relations with Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, Elvan said trade between the parties have gained momentum over the past 10 years, and foreign trade volume stood at about $16 billion in 2015. Suggesting that the free trade negotiations interrupted between the two countries in 2009 should resume, Elvan stated that Qatar's support in this matter is crucial to Turkey.

Al-Nabit said that Elvan's visit would contribute to cooperation between the two countries. "Given the current strong relations between the two countries, we hope and expect to improve relations," al-Nabit said.

Meanwhile, in March, the World Cup Supreme Committee of Qatar will sign a collaboration agreement with the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) to support each other in terms of facilities and infrastructure. Committee members visited Turkey and toured the TFF's facilities in Riva, Istanbul and looked at Galatasaray's Türk Telekom Arena and Beşiktaş's Vodafone Arena from a helicopter. The last stop was the Başakşehir Fatih Terim Stadium. The 2022 FIFA World Cup Supreme Committee of Qatar General Secretary Hassan al-Thawadi said that sports facilities in Turkey in terms of human power and capital are "astonishing" and that "you have come a longer way than we have." He added, "We plan to follow your path with the investments we will make."

Turkish Football Federation Acting President Servet Yıldırım said that a memorandum of understanding would be signed between the two countries. The two countries will support each other in terms of facilities, sharing know-how and infrastructure, according to Yıldırım. "As sister countries, Qatar and Turkey have a lot to share, especially in the fields of infrastructure and knowledge. There are many areas in which Turkey and Qatar can cooperate," said Yıldırım.

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