Turkey and Senegal to boost trade to $1 billion as trade with Africa grows

Turkey and Senegal have agreed to raise their bilateral trade volume target after successfully meeting and even surpassing their previous target, their leaders said on Monday.

The target has more than doubled from $400 million to $1 billion, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told the Turkey-Senegal Business Forum and later during a joint press conference with his Senegalese counterpart Macky Sall in Dakar, the capital.

“Our goal now is $1 billion. Thanks to our joint efforts, we will reach this figure in a short time,” Erdoğan said.

Trading volume in 2021 jumped 42% year-on-year to $540 million despite the coronavirus pandemic, he pointed out.

“I hope we will move towards our goals very quickly in the coming period without losing this momentum.”

Erdoğan’s visit to Senegal was part of his four-day trip to three countries in Africa. He paid a visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on Sunday.

Accompanied by a delegation of government officials and businessmen, the president was due to arrive in Guinea-Bissau on Tuesday, on a trip that will mark Turkey’s first official presidential-level visit to the African country. from West.

“We attach great importance to structuring our investments in a way that prioritizes human resources while advancing our relationship,” Erdoğan said, as he was due to attend the opening ceremony of the Dakar Olympic Stadium on Tuesday, built by a Turkish contractor.

“For example, 1,000 of the 1,500 workers employed in the Dakar Olympic Stadium project were our Senegalese brothers and sisters.”

“The contributions of our companies within the Plan Sénégal Emergent will continue with the support of the Senegalese people,” Erdoğan added.

“In addition, our companies in Senegal are active in the fields of energy, steel, health, food industry, production of ready-mixed concrete and transformation of or on the basis of mutual interest”.

New agreements

For his part, Sall also said that they had quickly surpassed their trade target set two years ago and expressed his belief that the two countries would also reach the new level soon.

Sall also stressed the continued determination to take the level of partnership between Turkey and Senegal to a higher level.

He praised Turkish companies that have launched various investment projects in the country and said that investment between the two countries is expected to increase further.

Erdoğan and Sall oversaw the signing of five agreements between the two countries, including security, maritime and media.

Erdoğan stressed the need to put into practice new mechanisms while using existing opportunities to strengthen economic ties between the two countries.

Growing ties with Africa

Thanks to its geographical location and influence in the region, Senegal is an export gateway to West African countries, he said.

“Based on the win-win principle, the cooperation channels established especially in the fields of production, agriculture, tourism, textiles, industry, energy, food and health will benefit the whole region.”

Turkey seeks to strengthen its cooperation with Africa. Since 2003, its trade volume with the continent has increased from $5.4 billion in 2003 to at least $35 billion in 2021.

Erdoğan on Tuesday reiterated the goal of raising that figure first to $50 billion and then to $75 billion in the coming period.

Turkey’s investments have exceeded $6 billion and Turkish companies have undertaken around 1,700 projects on the continent worth around $78 billion.

Erdoğan has visited Africa nearly 40 times since 2005 as prime minister and president. Meanwhile, Turkey has opened some 43 embassies on the mainland.

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Sharon P. Juarez