The Turkish president’s visits next week to three African countries are expected to create new opportunities to boost bilateral trade and for Turkish businesspeople to expand their investments in the region.
On his four-day mini-tour of Central and West Africa starting Sunday, Recep Tayyip Erdogan is set to visit the Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal, and Guinea-Bissau.
As ties between Turkiye and Africa have gained new momentum thanks to the country’s policy of “Strategic Africa,” as of last year Turkish companies had undertaken more than 1,150 projects across the continent with a total value exceeding nearly $70 billion.
The value of Turkiye’s investments across Africa surpassed $6 billion, according to data compiled by Anadolu Agency.
Erdogan’s visit will focus on all aspects of bilateral relations and opportunities for improving cooperation between Turkiye and those countries in all areas.
In 2021 Turkiye’s foreign trade volume with Sub-Saharan Africa jumped 24.8% year-on-year to hit a record high of $10.7 billion.
Turkish exports to countries in the region soared 31% to $7.9 billion in the same period, while its imports were up 10% to $2.8 billion.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Yusuf Cenk Dagsuyu, head of the Foreign Economic Relations Board’s (DEIK) Turkiye-Democratic Republic of Congo Business Council, said: “The country’s markets are untapped. With a win-win policy, the bilateral trade volume will reach significant levels.”
Dagsuyu said Turkish exports to DR Congo nearly doubled over the last five years thank to rises in sales of flour and flour products, meat and meat products, and machinery.
“Especially new developments in the mining and energy sectors are very important for the future,” he said. “We aim to raise the export volume above $100 million in 2022.”
Fuat Tosyali, head of the board’s Turkiye-Senegal Business Council, said: “We hope that concrete results will be achieved through President Erdogan’s visit. (Such visits) always create a positive climate for business circles.”
Senegal’s economy is dependent on agriculture, Tosyali stressed, explaining that the sector currently employs 70% of the total workforce.
“It has large enough offshore oil and gas resources to make itself a global hydrocarbon player. In this context, relations between the two countries are in a development process in every sense,” he added.