AFRICA: TURKISH PRES ERDOGAN 3-AFRICAN NATION VISITS TO STRENGTHEN TRADE TIES

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's visits to Tanzania, Mozambique and Madagascar with a delegation of representatives from the Turkish business world, on Jan 22-26, are expected to strengthen Turkey's economic ties with the "dark continent."

Erdogan's first official visit to these countries points to the immense potential these countries have for Turkish investors.

Erdogan first arrived in Dar es Salaam, the capital of Tanzania, late Sunday, and later met local businessmen in the capital and discussed ways to improve bilateral relations and trade between Turkey and Tanzania.

The Turkey-Tanzania Business Council President Aytac Dincer noted that Tanzania, which has shown the highest economic performance among sub-Saharan African countries in the last decade, is a key asset to Turkey's business sector, saying that Tanzania's economy has an average growth rate of 6 percent.

Underlining that Tanzania's economic growth has been supported primarily by the sectors of construction, mining and services, Dincer pointed out that Tanzania is a member of the East African Community Customs Union.

Dincer noted that the said country has many investment opportunities for the Turkish private sector, adding that investing in Tanzania could prove profitable for Turkey in terms of investments in mining, renewable energy, pharmaceuticals, textiles, construction and building materials, production and sales of agricultural machinery and in the meat and fishery sectors.

Recalling that the trade volume between the two countries has increased in recent years, Dincer said, "We believe that relations between the two countries will develop rapidly as a result of our president's visit."

Stressing that Tanzania faced a roadblock to financing projects, as do all other African countries that struggle to finance such projects, Dincer suggested that in order to solve this problem, Turk Eximbank and the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) should develop cooperation, and Turk Eximbank should increase financing rates regarding the projects of Turkish investors and develop new financing solutions.

Turkey-Madagascar Business Council President Yalcin Kiroglu said that Madagascar's economy grew by 4.5 percent this year, adding that the country, which is an island state with a population of 22 million people, has offered investment opportunities in many fields such as infrastructure, energy, tourism, mining and even the manufacturing industry.

Stating that countries like France, Canada and China have already invested in Madagascar, Kiroglu said that the country is a real tourists' paradise with its natural beauties and unexplored bays, highlighting that the virgin territory of the country is still in need of facilities and infrastructure.

"The accumulation of Turkish investors in the tourism sector here offers profitable investment opportunities for hotels and other tourism facilities," Kiroglu added.

Turkey-Mozambique Business Council President Erhan Barutoglu pointed out that Mozambique could be the world's largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporter after the commercialization of high-volume natural gas in its territorial waters.

Noting that the country is in a beautiful geopolitical position, Barutoglu said that it offers access to rich underground resources along with operational and transportational resources.

Indicating that investment funding problems seen in some other countries are also encountered in Mozambique, Barutoglu stated that Turkey's presence in Mozambique and similar countriess, which are very important for both its exports and its raw material imports, should be seen as a great opportunity for Turkish entrepreneurs.

"It would not be wrong to say that Mozambique, which has been recognized around the world as the African country with the highest potential, is ready to embrace Turkish companies and Turkish products," Barutoglu said.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK