The United Arab Emirates said it had signed agreements estimated to be worth $50bn with Turkey as President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan tours the oil-rich Persian Gulf in a bid to attract investment from the region.
The UAE’s state news agency said the Persian Gulf state and Turkey forged a series of provisional agreements that included the establishment of a joint economic and trade commission, commitments to develop energy and natural resources projects, and an extradition pact, according to Finacial Times.
ADQ, one of Abu Dhabi’s state investment funds, also said it would provide up to $8.5bn through bonds to support reconstruction efforts after February’s earthquake that devastated a vast area of southern Turkey. The fund also said it would provide $3bn in export credit financing to Turkish companies to boost bilateral trade.
Erdoğan, who held talks with UAE President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, said the agreements would “elevate our relations to the level of strategic partnership”.
The Turkish leader has this week visited Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE to drum up support and investment for Turkey’s economy after he appointed a new economic team following his victory in the May elections.
Bankers said Erdoğan took with him on his tour of the Persian Gulf a list of assets in which Turkey is seeking to sell stakes as Ankara looks to raise foreign currency to replenish severely depleted reserves and manage a yawning current account deficit.
The UAE, the Persian Gulf’s trade and finance hub, has also over the past two years shifted away from its more assertive foreign policy towards what officials describe as economic diplomacy as it faces increasing competition from neighbouring Saudi Arabia.
A Persian Gulf-based banker said Emirati officials sent out an “all-points bulletin” to bankers in the UAE ahead of Erdogan’s visit “to be ready and help us on ideas and be ready to execute”.
The rapprochement between Abu Dhabi and Ankara began two years ago after Sheikh Mohammed held talks with Erdoğan in the Turkish capital.