Egypt Takes the Lead in Turkish Exports to Africa

According to data compiled from the Turkey Exporters Assembly (TİM) by an AA correspondent, Turkey’s exports to the African region in the first quarter increased by 1.8 percent compared to the same period last year, reaching 4.5 billion dollars.

Looking at March, a 52.2 percent increase was observed in Turkey’s exports to Egypt compared to the same period last year.

According to the data, in the first quarter, Turkey’s exports to Egypt amounted to 872 million dollars, with a 28 percent increase in exports compared to the same period last year.

Following Egypt, Morocco with 733 million dollars and Algeria with 591 million dollars ranked second and third, respectively.

“Turkey and Egypt have the largest trade volume in Africa” Mustafa Denizer, President of the Turkey-Egypt Business Council of the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEİK), said in a statement to AA that Turkey and Egypt have the largest trade volume in Africa, with Egypt being the country with which Turkey has the largest trade surplus in Africa.

Denizer emphasized that the majority of the trade between the two countries consists of industrial products and that trade has continued to increase mutually since the Free Trade Agreement started in 2007.

Denizer stated, “For the past two years, Egypt has begun to give Turkey a trade surplus for the first time with the purchase of natural gas from Egypt. This constitutes approximately 20-25 percent of the total trade. Currently, there is a trade volume of nearly 10 billion dollars between Egypt and Turkey. It is expected that with the improvement in relations in the short term, this will increase to 15 billion dollars and even to 20 billion dollars in the longer term. Therefore, Egypt has always been our most important partner in Africa.”

“Egypt’s most potential products are Turkish products, and this will continue to increase” Pointing out that the 10-year political stagnation period did not prevent bilateral trade and direct investment in Egypt, Mustafa Denizer shared that Turkish investments, which began in 2007, have continued to increase in Egypt.

Denizer shared the information that there are currently nearly 3 billion dollars in Turkish investments, and there are plans for new investments totaling 500 million dollars in the next 1.5-2 years. He continued, “These investments provide direct employment to 70 thousand people. A parenthesis should be opened for Turkish goods as well. Turkish goods have a leading image in terms of quality, perception, and acceptance in Egypt. Therefore, despite the dollar reserve problem that Egypt has experienced recently, and some restrictions have been imposed on imports, it has declined somewhat. Ultimately, when these issues are resolved, Turkish products, which are the most potential products in Egypt, will continue to increase.”

Denizer also mentioned the historical, cultural, and religious commonalities between the two countries, stating that the Egyptian people love Turkey.

Denizer pointed out that this is also evident from the flights between the two countries, saying, “Especially when our relations improve, many new flights are added. The visa problem has been eliminated. These are all positive steps, which also positively affect trade. Moreover, Egypt and Turkey always act together in regional issues. There is an energy policy in the Mediterranean, which is also very important. Most likely, Egypt and Turkey will act together in the Mediterranean as well. Therefore, there are many topics on which the two countries, acting together, can be effective in that region, known as win-win.”

Highlighting the sectors that stand out in trade between the two countries as textiles, chemicals, automotive spare parts, and metal, Denizer stated, “Egypt makes significant supplies from Turkey in these sectors, and this will continue, but investment is also crucial here. Turkish investors have recently begun to re-examine new investment opportunities in Egypt due to the labor force and energy advantages in Egypt. There is not much Turkish investment in Egypt at the moment, but there are many important investments, about 15-20, in terms of quantity, all of which make up these investments.”

Denizer explained that Egypt has Free Trade Agreements and customs advantages with many countries, stating that Egypt’s agreements with America, the European Union (EU), North African, and African countries are among Turkey’s advantages, both for investment in Egypt to reach other markets and for Egypt to import intermediate goods from Turkey and export to these markets.

“Trade volume between Egypt and Turkey will reach 20 billion dollars” Denizer expressed that Egypt is a gateway to Africa, emphasizing that it is very easy to reach North Africa and then all of Africa through Egypt.

Denizer stated that Egypt has a significant population, saying:

“Turkey is an important producer and a significant supplier to the European Union. Egypt is also progressing slowly on this path. Therefore, collaborations and investments made here will continue to increase these relations. Both countries benefit from this and will continue to do so. We anticipate that with investments in Egypt and the supply of intermediate goods to Egypt, trade volume will continue to increase. Textile and garment are the most talked-about sectors, but investments are also made in many different fields. These will continue to increase in the coming period. I believe that the trade volume between Egypt and Turkey will reach 20 billion dollars. Therefore, with energy and joint steps, Egypt will become much more prominent among North African countries, and a great partnership will emerge with Turkey.”

Denizer stated that the improvement in relations will enable many things to be done faster, stating that the African market is growing, there is a very large population, and the countries that will feed this population are again the North African countries and Turkey.”

source: prepared by Melisa Beğiç

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