The trade volume between Turkey and Africa is now estimated at US$20.6billion – increasing about four times between 2003 to 2018 – at the back of an African initiative framework of ‘win-win policy’ implemented by the transcontinental country since 2003.
This figure, according to the Commissioner for Economic Affairs of the African Union Commission, Victor Harison, has been growing through continuous investments and public-private partnerships with Turkey.
It is projected that Africa will grow by 4.1 percent this year – exceeding the global average – and its population will reach 2.5 billion in 2050.
Africa, which is the only body including 54 countries, will be a global player with its demographic structure and renewable energy resources.
The Commissioner for Economic Affairs of the African Union Commission, speaking at the 2nd Turkey Africa Economic and Business Forum in Istanbul, noted that Africa and Turkey have far-developed a strategic partnership. Thus, the region will continue its cooperation with Turkey.
According to the Vice-President of the Pan-African Chamber of Commerce, Melaku Ezezew, Turkish investments constitute 40 percent of foreign direct investments – especially in Ethiopia.
He said there is a total of US$2.5billion Turkish investment in the textile and construction sectors. “Africa has a unique investment opportunity for Turkish companies; especially in solar energy, hydro-energy, and wind-energy.”
He explained that the Turkish construction sector is also in second place with a high volume of business in the region.
“The public and private partnership model is strategically important in terms of sustainable investments. Turkish companies may create a Turkish Regional Industrial Area in Africa in the coming period,” he stated.
The Turkish Trade Minister, Ruhsar Pekcan, also speaking at the Forum said: “Turkey aims to push Turkish-African relations to the next level. Our goal is to put Turkey-Africa relations at the top from every respect”.
She said under the leadership and vision of their president, Turkey-Africa economic relations are experiencing a golden age in their history.
“In a short period like 15 years, our exports to the African continent increased by 5-fold and our imports tripled. We have exceeded US$20billion. Total contracting services on the African continent is US$66.4billion. But we have realised US$55billion of this thanks to African expansion over the last 15 years.”
Pekcan said Turkey does not see Africa only as a ‘market’ and ‘natural source-centre’ but also a strategic partner.
She explained that: “In Africa, hundreds of thousands of people are provided with job opportunities in Turkish companies”.
The President of the Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey (DEiK), Nail Olpak, said that Turkish business people can contribute to the construction of Africa’s future and invest in a sustainable future together.
He said it is not fair that Africa, which has the 30 percent of the world’s mainland, 16 percent of the world’s population and is a homeland for 54 countries, only receives the 2.5 percent of the GDP produced by the world.
Three ‘Cooperation Agreements’ were signed during the Forum – Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Ministry of Mines and Geology of the Republic of Senegal and Tosyalı Holding and Trade; Investment Cooperation MoU between the Republic of Turkey’s Ministry of Commerce and the African Union Commission; and Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement between the Republic of Turkey and government of the Republic of Zimbabwe.