Minister of Trade Omer Bolat said, “Turkiye-Africa trade volume, which was $5.4 billion in 2003, reached $40.7 billion by the end of 2022.”
The fourth Turkiye-Africa Business and Economy Forum (TABEF), hosted by the Ministry of Commerce, coordinated by the African Union and organized by the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK), started at the Istanbul Congress Center.
Within the scope of the forum, the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) Signing Ceremony was held with the participation of Minister of Commerce Omer Bolat, African Union Commission Commissioner for Economic Development, Trade, Industry and Mining Albert Muchanga and Union of Comoros Minister of Posts, Telecommunications and Digital Economy Kamalidine Souef.
At the ceremony, “Goodwill Agreement Between DEIK & ECCAS High Business Council”, “DEIK/Turkiye-Senegal Business Council Establishment Agreement”, “DEIK/Turkiye-Cape Verde Business Council Cooperation Agreement” and “DEIK/Turkiye-Togo Business Council Cooperation Agreement” was signed.
In his speech at the signing ceremony, Minister Bolat said that various panels were held within the framework of the forum and bilateral meetings were held between business people.
Bolat stated that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and African Union Term President and Comoros President Azali Assoumani will also attend the closing ceremony of the forum tomorrow. He stated that within the scope of the event, 24 ministers and deputy ministers, high-level representatives of 22 countries and nearly 3,900 African and Turkish business people will come together for business meetings.
“The Strategy for the Development of Trade and Economic Relations with African Countries is being implemented strongly”
Emphasizing that Turkiye attaches great importance to its relations with African countries under the leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Bolat continued as follows:
“In this context, the ‘Strategy for the Development of Commercial and Economic Relations with African Countries’, which we initiated in 2003, is being implemented strongly in every dimension. Here, we aimed to develop our economic and commercial relations with the entire African continent in a balanced manner. In this context, Turkiye’s foreign trade with Africa in 2003 was only at the level of $5.4 billion. We are pleased to see that the trade volume has reached $40.7 billion by the end of 2022. In the 20 years that our Africa strategy has been implemented, we see that our trade volume with the African continent has increased 7.5 times, and when we look specifically at the Sub-Saharan region of Africa, our trade volume has increased 11.3 times.”
Emphasizing that Turkish investments in Africa have reached $10 billion, Turkish investors provide employment opportunities for hundreds of thousands of people in Africa and make great contributions to the development of the countries they invest in, Bolat said. “In addition, Turkish contracting companies have successfully completed $85.4 billion of infrastructure and superstructure investments by completing 1864 projects in the African continent so far and contributed to the development of the infrastructure, transportation and superstructure of the countries in which they do business.”
“The number of our embassies in Africa increased to 44”
Bolat stated that in order to further strengthen relations with African countries, while Turkiye had embassies in only 12 countries in 2002, today this number has increased to 44 and the number of trade consultancies has increased to 32.
Minister Bolat said, “Our national airline company, Turkish Airlines, flies to 62 different destinations in Africa, facilitating trade and helping African countries expand to other countries and the world. Turkiye has always aimed to establish relations with the countries of the African continent on the basis of equal partnership, mutual respect and the principle of winning and growing stronger together. Our country will continue to contribute to Africa’s development in all areas and taking its deserved place in the global system.”
“We discussed improving our relations with Africa in many areas of cooperation”
Expressing that they are very pleased that the African Union is a member of the G20 community, Bolat said that they, as Turkiye, support Africa on the G20 platform in this regard.
Bolat noted that they exchanged ideas as ministers on the development of relations between Turkiye and African countries in areas such as agriculture, agriculture-based industries, manufacturing sector, infrastructure and transportation, tourism and women’s entrepreneurship. He also noted that they exchanged views on what difficulties might be encountered in the development of cooperation and how they could be overcome.
Minister Bolat added that the forum, which was held for the fourth time, is an important meeting that will enable us to further the relations with the African continent, with which we have historical and cultural ties.
On the other hand, at the ceremony, the TABEF 2023 Joint Declaration was announced by Minister Omer Bolat, Albert Muchanga and Kamalidine Souef.
Source: Trthaber / Prepared by Irem Yildiz