The Turkiye- Africa Economic Partnership kicked off on Thursday, October 12 with officials and business representatives gathering for the fourth time in Istanbul to explore avenues for enhancing economic ties that will shape the shared future of Türkiye and Africa.
The forum, which is expected to conclude on Friday, October 13 has been jointly organized by the Foreign Economic Relations Board of Türkiye (DEIK), the African Union, and the Turkish Trade Ministry.
The forum with the main theme, “Addressing Challenges, Unlocking Opportunities: Building Stronger Türkiye-Africa Economic Partnerships,” prioritizes the energy, infrastructure, agriculture, agribusiness, health care, tourism and digital marketing sectors.
During the opening Ceremony, Nail Olpak, the chairman of DEIK, said important steps will be taken to reach the bilateral trade goal of $75 billion between Türkiye and Africa
He further mentioned that the forum’s discussions, panels, B2B and G2B meetings, as well as the agreements to be signed, would establish new bridges between Türkiye and Africa and pave the way toward reaching the goal of first $50 billion (TL 1.39 trillion) and then $75 billion in trade volume between the two regions.
Olpak highlighted the remarkable growth of the Turkish economy over the last 20 years and the expanding activities of Turkish construction companies in sub-Saharan Africa in addition to their long-standing presence in North Africa.
“Undoubtedly Türkiye’s emphasis on infrastructure lies beneath this. Transportation and telecommunication investments such as roads, railways, bridges, airports, ports, data centers and GSM networks, and infrastructure projects such as energy production, transmission and distribution, especially renewable energy, played an important role in increasing our economic performance,” he noted.
At the same time, Türkiye President also affirmed the growing partnership between Africa and his country.
“Türkiye-Africa relations are growing daily in a multidimensional way based on equal partnership and win-win,” H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of the Republic of Türkiye
Several sessions are being hosted to discuss infrastructure opportunities, agricultural and industrial cooperation between Türkiye and Africa, digital transformation in Africa, medical technologies, defense and aviation sectors, and investing in African countries.
Turkish companies have increased their activities in Africa in last 20 years, he said, adding that the importance of energy, transportation and communication infrastructure investments will increase in the long term.
The Türkiye-Africa Economic and Business Forum is the essential platform dedicated to fostering trade and establishing robust economic collaborations between Türkiye and the African continent.
This forum will be an occasion to delve into the challenges encountered in the realization of the economic potential of Türkiye and Africa, and to chart out ways to unlock new opportunities.
Throughout the event, participants from Türkiye and African countries will find the opportunity to share their knowledge and to analyze roadblocks through dialogue, while identifying pathways for collaboration, innovation, and growth in sectors that hold immense promise for both Türkiye and Africa such as agro-industries, healthcare and tourism.
The Forum will be a catalyzer for impactful initiatives for economic partnerships, including preferential trade. In this respect, we invite you to actively participate, share your expertise, and foster connections that will contribute to building a stronger and more prosperous future for Türkiye and Africa.
Creating Opportunities for Trade and Investment
During the Forum, mutual investment opportunities in many fields, from energy to agriculture, from health to the banking system, and innovation, were discussed.
According to H.E. Prof. Dr. Ömer Bolat, Minister of Trade of The Republic of Türkiye, Trade investments in Africa have reached $10 billion and that 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.
The forum’s first edition was held in 2016, the second in 2018 and the third in 2021, while there was a virtual meeting in 2020 due to the pandemic.
The trade volume between Türkiye and Africa has increased to $40.7 billion in 2022, up from $1.35 billion in 2003. The figure is projected to hit $50 billion by the end of 2023.