It seems that the volume of Turkish-African trade is heading to achieve a new figure during the current year, with governmental and private efforts undertaken by Ankara to enhance its commercial presence in the brown continent.
Fuad Tosyali, Chairman of the Turkish-African Business Councils, believes that the volume of bilateral trade between the two sides will exceed $30 billion by the end of this year.
Tosyali, who is also the head of the Turkish-Senegalese Business Council, looks at the importance of the Turkish openness to Africa, which was launched by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during his visit to Senegal earlier this year.
On the occasion of the Industrial Transformation Day in Africa corresponding to November 20, Tosyali pointed out that the economic relations between Turkey and the brown continent are moving forward.
He added, “Turkish companies, which have 1,000-year-old ties with Africa, have been able to compete with major companies operating in Africa and provide services at reasonable prices and high quality.”
The developed political relations contributed greatly to the development of bilateral trade relations, as Turkey gains the confidence of partners on the continent thanks to its policies based on mutual profit.
And in line with the policy of opening up to Africa initiated by President Erdogan, Turkish companies are able to take risks and operate in areas with weak political stability, according to Tosyali.
He added, “Turkish companies have been able, during the past period, to complete large projects on the continent in a short time… and are currently playing an active role in developing Africa, providing job opportunities and exchanging experiences in various fields.”
And he added, “We have strong industrial investments in African countries. This is only the beginning. Looking at the trade relations between Turkey and the continent, we can note an increase in joint cooperation, especially in the areas of trade and investment, especially in the past ten years.”
Turkish investments in the African continent amounted to $22 million in 2001, rising to $1.6 billion in 2021.
African investments in Turkey increased by 665 percent over the past twenty years, to reach $398 million, according to the Turkish-African Business Councils Board of Directors.
Despite the development in trade relations between Turkey and Africa, the commercial activities of China, the United States and Russia still maintain their momentum in the region.
Tosyali explained that trade with the region was at the level of $15.3 billion in 2013, and that this figure rose to $29.4 billion in 2021.
Tosyali pointed out that exports to the African continent in the first nine months of this year amounted to 18.5 billion dollars, while imports amounted to 7.1 billion dollars.
He added, “Based on these data, we expect an increase in the volume of bilateral trade this year compared to last year, and that the volume of bilateral trade will exceed $30 billion.”
The iron and steel industry represents about 11 percent of Turkey’s exports to the region; According to the latest data, iron and steel exports exceeded two billion dollars.
This sector is followed by machinery, automobiles, and plastic products, respectively; The aforementioned sectors constitute 20 percent of exports to the region.
Electrical appliances, gold and steel jewelry account for 15 percent; All of the aforementioned sectors constitute 50 percent of Turkey’s exports to the African continent.
As for imports, the energy sector accounts for 13 percent of them, while iron and steel account for 10 percent of African imports to Turkey.
Tosyali pointed out that Turkish contracting companies have also implemented successful projects despite the difficulties experienced by the African continent, and that bilateral cooperation now includes various sectors, especially the fields of production, agriculture, tourism, textiles, industry, energy, food and health.
He stated that Turkey has taken important steps to establish joint business councils with Liberia and Eritrea, and that contacts are underway between Turkey and 49 out of 54 African countries to deepen cooperation in various fields.
The Chairman of the Turkish-African Business Councils said that President Erdogan’s visit to Senegal will lead to reaching the target trade volume of one billion dollars in a balanced way.
He added, “In order to advance our economic relations, we must take advantage of the available opportunities and put new mechanisms into practice. We aim to strengthen economic and trade relations by laying the foundations for strategic cooperation with Africa.”
He continued, “Senegal wants to develop its partnerships with Turkey in the fields of energy, steel production, health, the food industry, and gold processing… I believe that we will strengthen our bilateral trade and economic relations within the framework of the principle of mutual profit.”