President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on Friday that Turkey planned to increase its trade volume with African countries to $75 billion in the near future.
Erdogan said in an address at the Turkey-Africa Economic and Business Forum in Istanbul that Turkey’s investments on the continent have exceeded $6 billion.
“Our trade with the region increased to $25.3 billion by the end of 2020 and our goal is to carry this figure to $50 billion first and then to $75 billion,’’ he said.
The Turkish leader noted that African nations are discovering Turkey’s potentials and opportunities, in particular in the areas of tourism, health, infrastructure, and production.
Around 3,000 African and Turkish businesspeople attended the two-day forum, beginning on Thursday, as well as over 30 ministers from African countries.
Topics discussed included agriculture, pandemics, innovation, and financing.
Recall that Turkey and Nigeria signed eight major agreements and Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) on defence, industry, mining and hydrocarbons among others, earlier in the week.
The MOUs were signed by President Muhammadu Buhari and Erdogan.
The pacts were signed after both leaders met at the Presidential Villa Abuja, and reflected on their similarities and areas of mutual cooperation open to Nigeria and Turkey.
Buhari and his Turkey counterpart jointly addressed reporters at the State House after their meeting.
Speaking about the positive gains of Erdogan’s visit to Nigeria, Buhari said both countries discussed issues and signed agreements that will further strengthen existing diplomatic relations between both countries, especially security and defence, as well as trade and commerce.
Buhari said: “I’m happy to welcome my brother, His Excellency, President Tayyip Erdogan, and his wife, First Lady of Turkey, that have been visiting Nigeria for the past two days. It is a reflection of our warm and cordial bilateral relations that this is the second time I’ve had the pleasure of receiving my brother in Abuja.
“During the visit, we had very useful discussions on a number of bilateral issues, aimed at strengthening this cordial relationship between Nigeria and Turkey. The key issues we touched on included a series of bilateral agreements and Memoranda of Understanding that have been finalised.
“As a positive outcome, eight major agreements (MoUs) on a number of the key sectors, including energy, defense, industry, mining, and hydrocarbons, among others, were signed today. We have agreed that implementation is to commence immediately.
“In the course of our discussions, we also reviewed the travel ban based on the revised COVID-19 protocols, and removed Turkey from Nigeria’s travel ban list. Turkey has indeed achieved remarkable success in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.”
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