istanbul-hagia-sophiaTurkish officials have said that more than 17,000 Saudis obtained electronic entry visas since the Turkish government established its e-service four months ago. 

Saudis used to pay the visa fees at Turkey’s airports before the Turkish government made it possible to pay $20 (SR75) and have the visas issued electronically in less than three minutes through its Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.

Ahmet Muhtar Gun, Turkish ambassador to Saudi Arabia, said 17,427 Saudis have benefited from the service so far. “More Saudis are visiting Turkey compared to the same period last year,” he said.

He said his government’s decision to grant a one-year residency permit to foreigners buying real estate contributed to increasing the inflow of Saudi capital to invest in his country’s “profitable field of real estate.”

Two Saudi companies recently bought real estate worth $300 million (SR1.1 million), according to official statistics, while many Saudi individuals have made deals.

Saudi investments in Turkey account for 75 percent of GCC countries’ investments, with 350 companies investing $1.6 billion (SR6 billion).

Saudi investment in Turkey increased eight times compared to previous years.

Commercial exchange between the two countries increased to $8 billion (SR30 billion) in 2012, with Saudi exports of oil, plastic and petrochemicals represented $4 billion (SR15 billion).

Turkish export of steel, heavy equipment and cloths to the Kingdom accounted for about $3.5 billion (SR13.13 billion) in the same period.
Source: Arab News