By Middle East Affairs
As Qatar deals with a boycott by its Gulf neighbors, the state has landed deals and strengthened relations with other countries, including a new “multi-role amphibious ship” out of Italy for its navy and an increase in trade with Turkey.
The minister of agriculture, food and livestock of the Republic of Turkey told Qatar News Agency that trade exchange between Ankara and Qatar is expected to reach $5 billion in the near future.
Minister Dr Ahmet Esref Fakibaba at Agriteq told the agency at the 6th Qatar International Agricultural Exhibition that the volume of trade exchange has steadily increased between the two countries.
“The State of Qatar and Turkey are two sisterly countries and two brotherly peoples. They have all the love and appreciation for each other and are cooperating now and in the future in all fields, including agriculture,” he said. “They will also make investments and joint ventures not only in Qatar but also in Turkey and other countries.”
“The State of Qatar is a very important country, and we are ready to cooperate with it and help the people and the Government of the State of Qatar not only in the agricultural sectors, but in all areas that need our joint cooperation,” he said.
Separately, automobile news agency The Drive reports that Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri has unveiled its plans to develop a ship for Qatar’s navy, which will be a “multi-role amphibious ship.”
The ship, along with four other Italian-made corvettes, as The Drive reports, is expected to “significantly expand” Qatar’s naval capabilities in the region.
Fincantieri gave a preview of the designs at the Doha International Maritime Defense Exhibition & Conference, or DIMDEX, in March 2016. The Drive said the deal was finalized in August of last year at a value of nearly $6 billion, and work is supposed to begin by the end of this year.
This progress in Qatar’s navy and trade relations comes at a time when the small but wealthy country is working to persevere through a boycott since by its Gulf Arab neighbors Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt, which began the blockade in June 2017 after accusing Qatar of having ties to extremist groups. Qatar has denied all accusations.