Turkey's exports to Qatar crossed $1 billion in 2018, according to official data revealed Wednesday.
According to the Aegean Exporters' Association (EIB), Turkey's exports to Qatar amounted to $630 million in 2017, while this figure climbed by 62 percent in 2018 to cross $1 billion, making Qatar the 37th largest destination for Turkish exports.
Chemicals and chemical products took the lead in exports to Qatar with $117 million. It was followed by cement and electronics with $100 million, iron and non-ferrous metals with $92 million and defense industry with $83 million.
EIB Coordinator Jak Eskinazi said the foreign trade volume between Turkey and Qatar rose in favor of Turkey, noting that the free trade agreement signed between Turkey and Qatar in 2018 set a suitable ground for increasing exports to Qatar.
"The foreign trade volume between the two countries will further increase in the coming period," he said, adding that in 2019, they expect Turkey's exports to Qatar to continue with a similar uptrend and reach $1.5 billion.
Previously, Turkey's Ambassador to Qatar Fikret Özer estimated that Turkish exports to the country to have crossed $1 billion in 2018, noting that the figure is expected to hit $1.5 billion in 2019.
He had noted that Qatar's exports to Turkey also increased in this period, stressing that the trade volume between the two countries exceeded $2 billion. That figure was $1.3 billion in 2017, half of which was Turkish exports.
Ankara has emerged as one of Qatar's top business partners since a Saudi Arabia-led bloc launched a trade and diplomatic boycott of the tiny Gulf state in 2017, providing increased support to Qatar, boosting food and other exports.
Fraternal ties between the two allies had gained significant momentum after the failed coup attempt in the summer of 2016, during Qatar strongly backed the Turkish government.
In June 2017, a handful of Arab states, led by Saudi Arabia, abruptly severed diplomatic relations with Qatar and imposed a blockade on the tiny Gulf country, accusing it of supporting terrorism. The Qatari government denied the accusation, blasting the blockade as unjustified and a violation of international law. The trade between the two countries saw a significant rise in that period, while the two countries also agreed on various projects in the future.