A fifteen-member business delegation from Turkey led by the Turkish Ambassador to Ghana, Nesrin Bayazıt, has paid a courtesy call on the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, at the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi.
The Manhyia Palace visit, which coincided with the marking of ‘Awukudae’, was to reaffirm the commitment of Turkish businesses to partner and work with local companies in the country, particularly businesses in the Ashanti Region.
This comes on the heels of growing multilateral cooperation between Turkey and Africa, resulting in the recently held ‘Turkey-Africa Business and Economic Forum,’ at Istanbul, in Turkey.
The event, which is the second one to be held after a similar event in 2016, was consistent with Turkey’s Africa-opening policy to improve its commercial and investment relations with African countries.
To realise this objective, Chairman of the Turkey Ghana Business Council – of the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEiK), Turan Koçyiğit, said they aim to at least double Turkey’s trade record, of about US$500million achieved with Ghana in 2016 to US$1billion.
Ghana is among five countries in Africa – including Ethiopia, Kenya, and Egypt – which have been listed as top priority of DEiK for 2018, while it also is ranked 11th on the list of African countries trading with Turkey.
It was in line with this that the business delegation, who are also members of the Turkey Ghana Business Council, traveled to Ghana on a three-day working visit to discuss mutual investment opportunities which exist between the two countries.
They also had a series of meetings with some local businesses in Accra before journeying to Kumasi.
The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II – speaking through his linguist at the Palace, welcomed the decision to engage local businesses in the region, particularly at a time government is embarking on an industrialization drive with its flagship ‘One District One Factory’ programme.
He observed that as he is about to mark his 20th anniversary, it would be fulfilling to realise ‘compelling’ business growth within the region and beyond.
Turan Koçyiğit, who is also the Chief Executive of VEFA Holdings A.Ş. in Turkey, in an interview after the visit expressed optimism about opportunities which would result from the engagement.
He said, among others, that Ghana can equally benefit from Turkey’s know-how in agriculture, agro-processing, construction, textiles, tourism, and manufacturing among others.
The Turkish delegation later met in a business to business engagement to also discuss business opportunities with local business operators in Kumasi.
Among a host of local entrepreneurs who participated in the discussions was Chief Executive of Uni-Jay Company Limited Mrs. Janet Abobigu, as well as several key members of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) in the region.
The Executive Vice-President of TRANSTAS Global Logistics, Ersel Topaloğlu – who also doubles as Vice-Chairman of the Turkey Ghana Business Council – speaking at the ceremony urged business relations to be built on openness and integrity in order to sustain business growth.
Some of the local businesses, in an interaction after the event, expressed satisfaction with having an opportunity to directly engage potential business partners – unlike in other instances when business deals are brokered through third-parties.