UAE enters new cooperation with Turkey, promises $10 billion investment

Turkey and the United Arab Emirates have signed several agreements following Crown Prince of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan’s meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Wednesday.

The two leaders signed a total of 10 memoranda of understanding for cooperation in the areas of anti-terrorism, investments and development, trade and customs management, energy, and environmentalism, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

Among the agreements are a memorandum against money laundering and the financing of terrorism, a memorandum between Turkey’s Wealth Fund and the Abu Dhabi Ports Co., another between the Wealth Fund and the Abu Dhabi Developmental Holding Co., and another between the Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange and Borsa Istanbul.

The Turkey Wealth Fund was established in 2016 and comprises the country’s largest state-run enterprises, which the Treasury previously controlled. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan became its chairman in 2018 after he won enhanced executive powers at an election.

The fund has sunk into a “swamp of debt” since its establishment, said Özgür Karabat, a parliamentarian for the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), Sözcü reported early in 2021. Few details are known about the fund’s current finances, but loans were pumped into the economy in 2020, meaning the banking system is owed 3.77 trillion liras compared with 2.73 trillion liras in 2019, Karabat added.

The fund's assets includes Turkish Airlines, Turkish Postal Services, Halkbank, Ziraat Bank, Turkcell, the country's biggest mobile phone company, Turksat and many other big institutions.

A memorandum of understanding between the two countries’ central banks was signed by the governor of Turkey’s central bank Şahap Kavcıoğlu and the UAE Energy and Infrastructure Minister Sohail bin Mohamed Al Mazroui.

Abu Dhabi Developmental Holding Co. CEO Mohamed Hassan al Suwaidi told reporters that the UAE had set aside a $10 billion fund to invest in Turkey, according to Anadolu.

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