The trade volume between Türkiye and African countries has increased eightfold in the last two decades and reached $40.7 billion (TL 1.1 trillion), Deputy Foreign Minister Yasin Ekrem Serim said Tuesday.
Speaking at the closing of the 9th World Cooperation Industries Forum (Wci Forum) held in Istanbul between Sept. 18-19, Serim emphasized that the African continent stands out as the rising value of the 21st century with its cultural accumulation and enormous potential.
"Our trade volume with Africa has increased eight times. The figure, which stood at $5.4 billion in 2003, amounted to $40.7 billion in 2022. The value of direct investments exceeded was by $6 billion," Serim said, adding that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is positioned as the world leader who pays visits to the continent the most.
He said that Turkish companies provide employment to some 100,000 people in Africa and announced that the 4th Türkiye-Africa Business and Economic Forum will be held in October.
The two-day forum, organized by the Turkish Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK) in coordination with the Trade Ministry and the African Union (AU), is expected to see 3,000 participants in Istanbul on Oct. 12-13, according to Anadolu Agency (AA) reports on Wednesday.
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.
The event is set to welcome President Erdoğan, African Union head Azali Assoumani, Trade Minister Ömer Bolat, and Commissioner for Economic Development, Trade, Industry and Mining at the African Union Commission (AUC) Albert Muchanga.
Highlighting Türkiye’s efforts in establishing the landmark Black Sea grain initiative at a time when crises such as climate change and the Russia-Ukraine war endangered food security on the continent, Serim touched upon transitioning to the African Partnership Policy in 2013.
“The number of our embassies, which was 12 in 2012, has increased to 44. In the 1990s, only Sudan from the sub-Sahara (zone) had an embassy in our country, but now this number has reached 38 in Ankara," he said, Daily Sabah reports.