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Erdogan determined to consolidate ties with Kuwait

President Erdogan's visit to Kuwait this week was a productive one.

The Turkish president visited the Gulf kingdom with the aim of bringing the two countries together, signing an agreement to improve political and commercial ties, and further establish regional development. 

Erdogan emphasised the importance of increased co-operation and trade between the two countries. "Kuwait is Turkey's window to the Gulf and Turkey is Kuwait's window to Central Asia and Europe."
Turkey and Kuwait
 

Investments on the horizon

Erdogan also spoke to potential investors, outlining the current government initiatives and favourable property buying conditions that make Turkey such an attractive investment destination. Turkey is currently a popular property investment spot for Kuwaitis, and the government has responded in the last few years by passing laws to ease the buying process. An increase in Kuwaiti tourists has bolstered tourism in Turkey, with numbers up to 133,000 last year.

Erdogan says the need to co-operate with Kuwait is crucial for the continued economic success of both nations. "Kuwait is the gateway to the Gulf region and we mean to bolster our partnership with it," he said. As well as property and finance, there are also opportunities for Kuwaitis to invest in agriculture, health and construction.

Each country confirmed a willingness to increase trade volume to $1 billion next year, with the establishment of a free trade zone. Currently, this figure sits around $569 million. Erdogan emphasised the fact that Turkey's economy has been steadily moving north over the past 12 years, with an average growth rate of 3 percent - even during the recession. 

Each country is experiencing a construction boom, which is likely to help bolster commercial relations between the two nations. Turkish contractors have won several large construction projects in Kuwait, including the building of a new terminal at Kuwait International Airport. 
Erdogan in Kuwait
 

Regional unrest

Along with discussing trade and politics, Erdogan and Kuwaiti officials broached the subject of recent developments in Yemen, Iraq and Syria, and discussed how Turkey can help improve relations with Gulf countries. Erdogan praised Kuwaiti leader Sheikh Sabah's efforts to promote peace in the region, and reaffirmed Turkey's support for the Saudi-led military operation in Yemen, which Kuwait is involved with.
 

Kuwait economy

Kuwait's economy depends heavily on crude oil, and the last few years have been rocky for the Gulf country, thanks to price fluctuations and regional unrest. As a result, Kuwait's spending has been limited. However, its vast hydrocarbon reserves will likely hold the nation steady through further crude oil unease.

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