Published: January 13, 2020
Turkish Trade Minister, Ruhsar Pekcan to visit Nigeria and Morocco to meet ministers and join business events
According to official reports, Ruhsar Pekcan will set off on the Africa tour this week to explore new business cooperation opportunities.
The African tour targeted at exploring new business channels comes a week barely after the Turkish parliament passed a bill by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to send troops into Libya.
Libya has been experiencing unrest as rebels have continued to fight the UN-recognized government in place. Turkey sent military troops to Libya to support the government.
Many political critics believe there is a link between both decisions, while others argue that Turkey has maintained a good relationship with Africa for a long time. Thus, there are no hidden motives.
Pekcan, along with a Turkish business delegation, will visit Nigeria on Monday and Tuesday and Morocco on Wednesday, according to the information available with Anadolu Agency.
On Tuesday, the Turkey-Nigeria Business Forum will be held in the capital Abuja. It will be chaired by Pekcan and her Nigerian counterpart Richard Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo.
Pekcan will also meet with Yemi Osinbajo, the Nigerian vice president, and Zubairu Dada, the Nigerian foreign affairs minister, to discuss bilateral economic relations and investments.
Nigeria is the sixth-largest trade partner of Turkey in Africa and the second in Sub-Saharan Africa. The two countries' trade volume was $2.3 billion in 2019.
Meanwhile, Turkish contractors assumed 48 projects worth $1.8 billion so far.
Hakan Ozel, the head of Turkey-Nigeria Business Council of the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK), said that Turkey could provide quality and cost-effective products for Nigeria.
"Nigeria's economy is based on imports, there are markets for every Turkish product in the country which has a 200-million population," he told Anadolu Agency.
As part of Pekcan's Morocco visit, Turkey-Morocco Free Trade Agreement's joint committee meeting will be organized in the capital Rabat.
Pekcan will meet with Mohamed Benchaaboun, the economy and finance minister, Mouly Hafid Elalamy, the industry, trade and digital economy minister, and Abdelkader Amara, the equipment, transport, logistics and water minister.
Morocco was one of the 17 countries which were highlighted in Turkey's Export Master Plan, released last September, for raising exports in five primary sectors - machinery, automotive, electric and electronics, chemical and food.
Turkey's exports to Morocco rose by 16% to reach $2.3 billion in 2019 on an annual basis, and imports from Morocco dropped by 3.5% to stand at $690 million.
Mehmet Buyukeksi, the head of DEIK's Turkey-Morocco Business Council, said Turkish businessmen have investments worth around $1 billion in Morocco and they employ almost 8,000 Moroccan people.
"Turkish firms active in sectors such as contraction, construction, fishery, automotive, retail trade, furniture, iron/steel, carpet, food and apparel in Morocco," he told Anadolu Agency.
Turkey and Africa enjoy a robust economic partnership. The European country has signed Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreements with 38 African countries.
Turkey's bilateral trade volume with Africa reached 17.5 billion USD in 2015.
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Header Image Credit: Anadolu Agency source