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Turkey continues airlift to Qatar

ISTANBUL: July 12, 2017. A report from Reuters says Turkey has sent 197 freighter aircraft, 16 trucks and one ship to Qatar since the political crisis with four Gulf Cooperation Council states began last month.

"We will keep meeting its daily or longer-term needs in the coming period," said Turkey's Economy minister Nihat Zeybekci according to Reuters.

EXPO Turkey by QatarZeybekci made his comments in Ankara following a meeting with Qatar's Economy minister Ahmed bin Jassim al-Thani who said despite the sanctions, Doha's sea and air trade was continuing without interruption and would likely lead to more commercial opportunities for Turkish companies in the future.

In May Turkish exports to Qatar increased 300 percent to reach US$32.5 million according to Customs & Trade minister Bulent Tufenkci.

Prior to the recent exponential rise in airfreight shipments, bilateral trade between the two countries was forecast to increase 10-15 percent this year on a 2016 total of US$700 million.

Next January, Qatar and Turkey are going to repeat their joint trade show initiated in 2017 by Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani in a bid to strengthen investment and cooperation between the two countries.

Held at the Qatar National Convention Center, this year's Expo attracted 154 Turkish companies including official airline sponsor Turkish Airlines that began A330 freighter flights to Prague and Riga earlier this month. Currently, some 60 Turkish companies are working on 35 projects in Qatar with a turnover of US$14 billion.

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