AU’s Top Trade Official Pitches for Turkish Investment in Africa

ADDIS ABABA – African Union (AU) top economic development and trade official has invited Turkish businesses to invest in Africa during a meeting held in Istanbul.

The third Turkey-Africa Economic and Business Forum held in Istanbul this week from 21-22 October, with around 3,000 business people from both sides attending the event.

Albert Muchanga, AU Commissioner for Economic Development, Trade, Industry and Mining, said the two sides had successful Ministerial and business level meetings as well as business to business networking during the two-day period.

“After deliberations come action,” he said. “The actions we shall undertake should strengthen the Africa–Turkey cooperation for mutually beneficial inclusive growth and sustainable development.”

Traders and investors who come to Africa to follow-up on the recommendations of the Forum, he said, “will find a new and large operating space”.

This is the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), the commissioner told Turkish investors.

The market, created under AfCFTA agreement, is estimated to be as large as 1.3 billion people across Africa, with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of $3.2 trillion, according to the African Development Bank.

“This size and the continent-wide removal of tariff and non-tariff barriers as well policy and regulatory harmonization in investment, intellectual property rights, competition policy and digital trade make Africa an attractive market for trade and investment,” Muchanga said.

“We encourage Turkish businesspeople to take advantage of this new commercial space,” the Commissioner urged the attendant.

Turkey and Africa’s bilateral trade volume reached $25 billion last year, showing a significant jump from what it was in 2003 – only $5.4 billion,

Ankara now wants to double the volume to $50 billion , said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The president addressed the meeting following his four-day long tour in three African countries, meeting leaders and investors in Angola, Nigeria and Togo.

Erdoğan said the Turkey-Africa relation is built in a manner that is equal partnership and win-win”.

“While Turkish investors’ interest in the continent increases, our African friends discover Turkey’s opportunities, particularly in the areas of tourism, healthcare, infrastructure and production,” he added.

The topics were among discussion points at the forum, held under the slogan: ‘Deepening Turkey-Africa Partnership: Trade, Investment, Technology and Logistics.’

At the end, the AU official assessed the two day forum as “successful” that could result in “expanding” investment ties.

Currently. Turkey is the fourth largest investor in Africa , trailing China, US and France, according to a report published by Swiss-African Business Circle this year.



Featured Image Caption: AU Commissioner Muchanga speaking to media in Istanbul, Turkey [Photo AA]

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