The relationship between Turkey and Kuwait has been governed by common cultural and historical ties since the days of the Ottoman Empire, before diplomatic relations between the two countries were strengthened after Kuwait gained its independence in 1961. But after that period, relations took an extraordinary natural form. It was marked by great momentum in 2013, when the first meeting of the Turkey-Kuwait Joint Committee for Cooperation, which was formed at the level of foreign ministers, was held in Kuwait on October 24, 2013.
After the great leap in the relationship between Kuwait and Turkey over the past two decades, there is a consensus on regional and global issues between the two countries. Kuwait was the first Arab country to denounce the failed coup attempt in Turkey in 2016, in a position that proved to be on the side of legitimacy and democracy. Until the middle of 2021, Kuwait and Turkey concluded 61 agreements covering many fields and strengthening relations between the two countries. The economic and trade relations between the two countries became the secret of a prosperous relationship, as the Turkish economy ranked nineteenth in the world and increased sales of trade, tourism and real estate to Kuwaitis in Turkey.
Kuwaitis bought 873 apartments in Turkey in the first eight months
At the beginning of 2021, the Turkish real estate market witnessed a frenetic activity in terms of rents, sale and purchase, and real estate prices rose by 80% until the end of last August, and reached 100% in some areas of Istanbul. According to data issued by the Turkish Statistical Institute, Kuwaitis bought 873 apartments in Turkey at the beginning of the year until the end of last August, an increase of 86 percent over the same period last year.
Kuwaitis ranked first in the Gulf region in the number of properties purchased, and maintained their global rank in seventh place. Iraq ranked first in the world with an estimated purchase of 4,631 apartments, followed by Iran with 4,600 apartments, and then Russia with 4,600 apartments. Afghanistan with 1,819, Germany with 1,189 apartments and Kazakhstan 1,129. It is remarkable to see more nationalities entering the investment market in Turkey than before, such as Kazakhstan, Germany, Azerbaijan and the United States of America. At the same time, Arab countries maintained their strong positions and high purchase rates in the middle of the list, such as Egypt, Palestine, Jordan, Yemen, Lebanon and Sudan.
This comes because the goal of most buyers is to obtain Turkish citizenship, unlike Kuwaitis who buy for the purpose of housing and investment. Remarkably, Saudi Arabia, which was almost among the top ten in the ranking of nationalities most buying real estate in Turkey, is no longer included in the current list issued by the Statistical Institute.
The great demand for Turkish real estate is due to several reasons, the most important of which is that the outbreak of the Covid-19 virus was followed by the launch of a number of new projects by Turkish contractors, as the construction became limited and the contractors were the ones who managed the crisis well, maintained their presence in the markets, or who have distinguished strong projects that are originally reputable.
According to the Utsh Babi Construction Company in Bursa, the demand for Kuwaitis to buy this year is very large, as purchases were made with twice their cash in Turkey. They indicated that they bought about 873 apartments between January and August. He explained that the agency's office in Kuwait has so far completed about 90 sales of its projects in general and the "Downtown" project in particular since the beginning of the year, indicating that the demand for the latter project increased due to the project's approaching completion. The Kuwaitis even bought about 280 units in the project, and this activity was considered "the second home of Kuwaitis in Turkey." He pointed out that Istanbul received the largest share in the number of foreign purchases this year, with more than 60 percent, as 14,788 apartments were sold, followed by Antalya in second place with 5897 apartments, Ankara with 1988, Mersin with 1410, Yalova with 939, and Bursa 889 .
History of Turkish-Kuwaiti relations
The volume of trade exchange between Turkey and Kuwait was a qualitative leap from $600 million to $700 million, and rose to $1.287 billion in 2016. Kuwaiti investments in Turkey amount to $1.5 billion, while projects implemented by Turkish companies in Kuwait exceed $6.3 billion.
Turkey and Kuwait aspire to raise the trade exchange to $3 billion until 2022, as the facilities approved by the Turkish government in various investment sectors played a prominent role in the investment activity of Kuwaitis in recent years and included various sectors such as banks, infrastructure and tourism, and the Kuwait Investment Authority has investments in different sectors in Turkey.
The great development in Turkish-Kuwaiti relations currently comes as a result of the formation of a joint cooperation committee that seeks to achieve progress and prosperity for the two countries in various fields, foremost of which are defense, economy, health, culture and education.
Turkish official reports confirm that from 2015 until September 2020, the number of Turkish residential properties sold to Kuwaiti citizens amounted to 10,711 properties.
Moreover, the approach of Kuwait and Turkey to open all kinds of cooperation between them, including information exchange and technology transfer in defense industries, shows that mutual investment is likely to increase steadily as the two countries seek to remove obstacles to more joint ventures. In particular, Turkey is looking to further dive into the implementation of strategic projects in Kuwait and win investment shares aimed at developing Kuwait's infrastructure over the next two decades.
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