Africa has been prominent in Turkey's foreign trade over the past 20 years. The volume of trade with the continent is expected to reach $45 billion in 2022.
According to Turkey’s Ministry of Commerce, the measures taken to increase trade and investment relations with African countries are bearing fruit.
As part of Ankara’s efforts to diversify export markets, Ethiopia, South Africa, Nigeria, Libya and Egypt are among the “target countries” determined for the period 2022-2023.
In 2022, 24 fairs were organized in African countries. A general business delegation also visited the continent.
The development of trade and economic relations with Africa has been an important objective of Turkey’s foreign trade policy over the past 20 years. In 2003, the country launched the “Strategy for the development of trade and economic relations with Africa”.
Ankara has established increasingly frequent bilateral and multilateral contacts with African countries. In addition to official bilateral visits, relations with the region have been strengthened through Turkey-Africa Partnership Summits initiated in 2008 and Turkey-Africa Economic and Trade Forums held since 2016.
The last Forum was attended by participants from 45 countries, 4 regional organizations, 38 high-level participants.
In addition, the Turkey-ECOWAS Economic and Trade Forum was organized in Istanbul in 2018 to improve relations with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), including 15 East African countries. West are members.
Turkey has embassies in 43 African countries, 31 of which have trade advisers. 37 African countries host Turkish embassies. Additionally, Turkish Airlines charters direct flights to many destinations on the mainland.
The presence of Turkish companies in Africa is one of the most important factors contributing to the deepening of relations with Africa. 45 business advisory mechanisms have been established between Turkey and African countries.
Ankara has concluded trade and economic cooperation agreements with 48 African countries, mutual investment promotion and protection agreements with 32 countries, double taxation avoidance agreements with 16 countries and free trade agreements with 5 countries. (Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Mauritius, Sudan).
Turkish companies have increased their activities in sub-Saharan Africa over the past decade. Turkey has become one of the countries with the largest number of contracting companies in almost the entire continent.
In 2003, Turkey’s exports to the African continent amounted to 2.1 billion dollars and the continent’s share in Turkey’s total exports was 4.5%.
These exports increased to $21.2 billion in 2021. The continent’s share of Turkey’s exports in 2021 increased to 9.4%. Foreign trade volume to the continent has increased from $3.7 billion in 2003 to $29.4 billion in 2021.
During the January-August period of this year, exports to the African continent increased by 28.7% compared to the same period of the previous year to reach 16.7 billion dollars, while imports increased increased by 22.8% to $6.3 billion. The total volume of foreign trade was 23 billion dollars. The foreign trade surplus increased by 32.4% compared to the same period of the previous year and reached 10.4 billion dollars.
Turkey-African countries services exports excluding tourism were $15.3 billion in 2013 and reached $21.2 billion in 2021. In July this year, this value was $14.7 billion. The volume of trade in services was $21.5 billion in 2013, $29.4 billion in 2021 and $20.1 billion in July this year.
At the end of last year, 88 Turkish companies were operating on the African continent, and the investments of these companies on the African continent reached around $1.7 billion. In the contract sector, 1777 projects worth $82.8 billion have been undertaken on the African continent so far. According to the regional breakdown, $56 billion (1330 projects) in North Africa and $26.7 billion (447 projects) in Sub-Saharan Africa were undertaken.
The African continent is also one of the most important destinations for Turkey in terms of exporting educational services. While in the academic year 2013-2014, Turkey welcomed 5 thousand 423 students from 50 countries of the African continent for higher education, this figure increased to 36 thousand 957 in the academic year 2020-2021.
The African continent has become an important market for the health sector in Turkey. The African countries that have sent the most patients to Turkey are Libya, Somalia, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria and Algeria.
The African continent is also important for Turkey’s transport services. In terms of value, 88% of Turkish exports to Africa are carried out by sea and 7% by air.
Since the end of 2021, the sectors of basic metal industry ($680.7 million), textile and clothing manufacturing ($330.1 million), production and distribution of electricity, gas, steam and ventilation systems ($267.4 million) and wholesale and retail trade ($238.5 million) take center stage.
Turkey has taken its place among the most present countries on the African continent in recent years by following a policy of openness. Economic and trade relations are expected to continue to grow in the coming years and the volume of trade with the African continent is expected to exceed $45 billion by 2022.
Source : Anadolu Agency