Türkiye, African businesspeople come together in Istanbul

OVER the years, Türkiye’s role in the African continent has increased consistently.

This has been translated into stronger ties between Türkiye and Africa. Turkiye’s policies toward Africa evolve within the framework of a win-win policy and are mainly driven by economic, humanitarian, and security dimensions.

Furthermore, Türkiye has emphasised the fact that the principles of equal partnership and mutual gain will be the main drivers in Türkiye-Africa relations.

Equally, Africa has been an important part of the Turkish agenda for 2021 considering President Erdoğan’s diplomatic trip to Africa, the Turkiye-Africa III. Economic and Business Forum held in October and lastly the III.

With that background in mind, the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEİK) will be hosting the President of the Republic of Türkiye, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the President of the Comoros Union State, who also serves as the Chairperson of the African Union, Azali Assoumani at the Türkiye-Africa IV. Business and Economic Forum in Istanbul on the 12-13th of October 2023.

Continuing its business diplomacy activities to increase Türkiye’s international trade and investment with 152 Business Councils spread all over the world, DEİK has turned its agenda to Africa.

Hosted by the Ministry of Trade of the Republic of Türkiye, in coordination with the African Union and organised by DEİK, the fourth edition of the Türkiye-Africa Business and Economic Forum (TABEF) will take place at the Istanbul Congress Centre (ICC) between 12-13th of October 2023.

Honoured by the President of the Republic of Türkiye, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the President of the Comoros Union State, who also serves as the Chairperson of the African Union, Azali Assoumani, the Türkiye-Africa IV.

Business and Economic Forum  expect to welcome Prof. Dr. Ömer Bolat, the Minister of Trade of the Republic of Türkiye Albert Muchanga, the Commissioner for Economic Development, Trade, Industry, and Mining at the African Union Commission (AUC), Nail Olpak, the President of DEİK, Fuat Tosyalı, the Coordinator President of DEİK/Türkiye-Africa Business Councils, Dr Amany Asfour, the Acting President of the African Business Council (AfBC), and Emine Erdoğan, the First Lady of Türkiye as well as the Ministers of Economy, Trade, and Finance from the African countries.

With its main theme “Addressing Challenges, Unlocking Opportunities: Building Stronger Türkiye-Africa Economic Partnerships” Türkiye-Africa IV. Business and Economic Forum prioritises energy, infrastructure, agriculture, agribusiness, healthcare, tourism, and digital marketing sectors.

Thematic panels, B2B Bilateral Business Meetings and B2G Meetings

During the first day of the forum, there will be panels on “Collaboration on Manufacturing and Agro-Industries:  Supply Chain Sustainability”, ” Africa Digital Transformation: Enhancing Africa Digital Technologies Ecosystem,” and ” Health Technology Assessment: Sustainable Health Sector and New Innovative Opportunities”. Simultaneously, there will be Government-to-Business (G2B) sessions focusing on “Infrastructure Investment Opportunities: Energy, Telecommunication and Transportation Networks”, ” Governance & Food Security ‘’ Creating sustainable food system” and “Promotion of Tourism and Digital Marketing Technology: ‘’Tourism and Hospitality Sector”.

On the second day of the forum, the panels on ” Türkiye -Africa Women Leadership Dialogue,” ” Türkiye and Opportunities Under the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA),” and “Investment & Trade Financing in Africa and Banking Relations with Türkiye” will take place with the presentation on “Free Zones and Opportunities”. Throughout the Forum , the panels and the G2B-B2B meeting will be held simultaneously.

Türkiye-Africa Women Leadership Dialogue

On the second day of the Türkiye -Africa IV. Business and Economic Forum, both Turkish and African businesswomen will share their experiences in reshaping the landscape of the business world during the “Türkiye -Africa Women Leadership Dialogue”. They will engage in discussions regarding potential areas of collaboration and strategies to promote increased participation of women in leadership positions.

Türkiye and opportunities under the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)

Africa, the largest global free trade area, is expected to create a free trade market with a population of 1.3 billion and a value of 3.4 trillion dollars. With AfCFTA, it is expected that the intra-African trade increases by 50 percent and that it provides the world an additional income of $76 billion. The AfCTFA will be discussed in the panel ” Türkiye and Opportunities Under the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)”. With the participation of Wamkele Mene, Secretary General of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to the panel, the impact of the AfCFTA agreement on trade between Türkiye and Africa will be evaluated.

Banking and investment relations

From a trade and investment financing perspective, there are still major challenges for companies to do business with the African continent. Turkish companies, on the other hand, have been increasingly successful in the Africa continent in recent years. Important solution suggestions for improving access to trade and investment financing will be discussed during the panel ” Investment & Trade Financing in Africa and Banking Relations with Türkiye”. In the panel, business and investment opportunities will be discussed by financial institutions and decision makers of projects and investments that have an important place in the development of Africa.

Over 3,000 Turkish and African participants

Including representatives from the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Export-Import Bank (Afrieximbank), the Turkish Export Credit Bank (Türk Eximbank), international and regional financial institutions, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), chambers of commerce and industry, DEİK/Türkiye-Africa Business Councils Presidents and their counterparts, relevant associations, professional organizations, and entrepreneurs from both Türkiye and Africa, diplomatic mission representatives in Türkiye, as well as media organizations,  the Türkiye-Africa IV. Business and Economic Forum will host over 3,000 participants from Türkiye and all the African countries.

Türkiye-Africa trade volume target: $75 billion

Türkiye’s total trade volume with the African continent was $1.35 billion in 2003 and reached $40.7 billion last year. The target for the total trade volume in the African continent by the end of 2023 is $50 billion, with a subsequent goal of reaching $75 billion. Türkiye is actively enhancing its economic relations with African countries under the principle of win-win as a crucial strategic partner for Africa’s integration, economic development, and industrial growth. Changes in Türkiye’s exports to Africa align with global trends. Türkiye’s exports to Africa regained momentum, reaching $21.2 billion in 2021 and $23.6 billion in 2022. Türkiye’s imports from Africa reached to $9.5 billion in 2022.

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