The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) President Rıfat Hisarcıklıoğlu headed to Bahrain with a team of businesspeople on Monday in order to improve collaboration opportunities with Gulf countries. A statement made by the TOBB said that the "TOBB-Gulf Cooperation Council 2nd Business and Investment Forum" organized by the TOBB and Federation of Chambers of Gulf Cooperation Council (FGCCC) will be held in Bahrain.
The TOBB attended the two-day forum held under the aegis of Bahrain Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, with a team of 250 businesspeople. Three hundred firms from Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and Saudi Arabia, along with 60 Turkish firms operating in these countries also attended the forum, which will focus on the partnership and cooperation opportunities with the $1.7 trillion worth Gulf economy.
Hisarcıklıoğlu said in an earlier statement that, the Business Forum in Bahrain would take place in an environment where free trade talks between Turkey and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) resumed, and stressed that the event was seen as an important opportunity in terms of increasing the trade with Gulf countries whose operations constructed a great economic power.
Noting that a wide range of business talks were planned among the firms under the scope of the said forum, Hisarcıklıoğlu said that sectorial sessions were also arranged in the fields of banking and finance, health, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment, renewable energy, oil and natural gas, food and food safety, transportation and logistics.
Gulf countries control 40 percent of the total global oil and financial reserves. Oil and gas-rich GCC members Bahrain, the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and Saudi Arabia's total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) stands at about $1.7 trillion, while the said countries' total population is around 47 million and their national income per capita maintains a level of around $36,000.
Relations between Turkey and Gulf countries showed an annual growth of 33 percent prior to the global crisis. The relations, which started improving in the 1970s and early 80s reached a whole new level over the past 15 years along with the new steps and agreements. In light of these developments, $1.8 billion worth of mutual trade volume in 2000 climbed to $16.4 billion prior to the global crisis with an annual growth of 33 percent due to the wide cooperation network between Turkey and Gulf countries.
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