Turkey Africa business and commerce forum meeting istanbul

Turkey – Africa Economic and Business Forum 2018

15 October 2018 

Istanbul Africa Trade Company at the Forum

Istanbul Africa Trade Company participated in the Africa Economic and Business Forum. We discussed long-term business opportunities by contacting Turkish exporters and African investors. In addition, we promoted the companies we work with.

Overview of the Turkey – Africa Economic and Business Forum in 2018

Turkey-Africa the Second Economic and Business Forum was jointly organized by Turkish Ministry of Commerce, AUC and DEiK under the motto of “Building a Sustainable Future Together through investments and joint ventures” on 10-11 October 2018 in Istanbul, Turkey.

The Forum is mainly aimed at promoting Turkish and Africa investments through analyzing trade and economic relations between Africa and Turkey; evaluating Turkey’s approach to investment in Africa; facilitating interaction between the two business communities and initiating dialogue between Turkish investors, the AU and the RECs. It is also aimed at highlighting the Expectations engendered by Agenda 2063 as a program for social, economic and political transformation that will make Africa a prosperous, united and economically independent Continent.

The premier event was attended by economy, trade and finance Ministers from African countries, chairs and presidents of chambers, NGOs, business associations and professional organizations, the commissioners of AUC and secretary generals of African regional economic communities, representatives of African Development Bank (AfDB) and other financial institutions, diplomatic missions, press members, business people and investors both from Turkey and the Continent.

The two-day event was enriched by the opening remarks of Term President of the African Union and President of the Republic of Rwanda H.E. Paul Kagame and President of the Republic of Turkey H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, award ceremony, welcoming reception with fashion show, G2B meetings where guest Ministers presented current investment environment and opportunities in their countries, the panel sessions where Turkish companies that have made significant investments in Africa shared their experiences, and the major investment projects especially in infrastructure, transportation and energy sectors and financing instruments were discussed by expert speakers. In addition, business to business meetings and CEO networking sessions were held simultaneously.

Thematic Sessions

Turkey’s long term companionship with Africa on the win-win basis and the attainment of Africa rising vision hinging on the motto of “African issues need African solutions” would form a meaningful cooperation by combining Turkish know-how with African resources to develop value-added products and export them to third countries. In this regard, textile and tourism sectors could be targeted sectors having great potential for such cooperation.

Turkish clothing and home textile industries have had a significant role in the world’s clothing and home textile markets in the last two decades. And, in Turkey, apparel sector is the second biggest sector following the automotive sector with a share of 12,4% (17 billion $ exports in 2017). The clothing and textile industry is largely based on cotton and domestic output does not fully meet demand, which makes Turkey the world’s third-largest cotton importer. Meanwhile, about 8% of the cotton traded in the world market is harvested in Sub-Saharan Africa which has much more planting capacity with a competitive advantage due to the duty-free access of exports to the large US market. In this regard, Turkey can provide technology and vocational education to increase this percentage and gain mutual benefit. Within the Forum program, the topic of “Africa’s position in the changing pattern of international textile trade and Turkey’s potential collaboration” will be discussed by keynote speakers to promote investment and joint ventures in textile sector.

In 2016, Turkey was the 10th most popular tourist destination in the world according to UNWTO. And, the number of foreign travelers arriving in Turkey in 2017 was 38.6 million. 165 hotel chains and groups have currently 824 hotels in Turkey and 82 percent of these hotels are domestically owned. There are also several Turkish hotel chains with global sustainable tourism standards. Meanwhile, hotel supply in Africa remains unbranded and there is an undersupply of quality accommodation. 100 million arrivals to Africa today are expected to grow to 150 million by 2027. Besides, today 42% of Africa’s one billion people live in cities and consumer and business purchasing power has been continuously increasing. In this context, Turkish hotel investors can meet this high need of accommodation and offer hotel management services as well as vocational education. Furthermore, Turkish contracting companies could also offer engineering and construction services for tourism infrastructure in Africa. Within the Forum program, the topic of “What will shape the future of tourism Africa in next 10 years?: Infrastructure, Investment and Technology” will be discussed by keynote speakers in the sectors to promote new investment areas and global branding.

In 2017, Turkey ranked second for the number of contracting companies building the largest volume of projects across the world outside their home countries for the 10th year in a row, according to the latest list of the world’s “top 250 contractors” by the magazine Engineering News Record (ENR). Turkish contractors experienced with PPP projects are also amongst the major undertakers in Africa. Share of African countries in the overall international business volume of Turkish contractors is around 21 percent (share of North Africa is 19%). Turkish contractors so far have undertaken in the continent over 1.150 projects which worth 55 billion USD. Meanwhile, rapid urbanization in Africa requires urgent need for housing, infrastructure and electricity. In 2017, the greatest number of projects valued at 50 million USD or above (303 projects worth 307 billion USD) in Africa fall into the Transport sector (36%), followed by Real Estate (22.4%), Energy & Power (19.1%) and Shipping & Ports (7.9%). On the other hand, most of these projects experience cost overruns. In this regard, Turkish contractors and energy companies can keep projects on budget and on time as well as offering knowledge-driven solutions for complex construction projects. Within the Forum program, the topic of “Collaboration between Turkey and Africa on Construction, Infrastructure and Energy” will be discussed by the company executives and representatives of related institutions to promote opportunities and major PPP projects with financial instruments.

Objectives of the Forum

  • Raising the awareness of Turkish/Africa business circles to Africa and Turkey.
  • Analyzing the current situation of Turkey-Africa trade and economic relations.
  • Seeking the cooperation opportunities between Turkey and Africa and discussing the challenges.
  • Encouraging both Turkish and African private sector entrepreneurs to create investment opportunities and joint ventures in both sides.
  • Evaluating new approaches to Turkish investments in Africa. Increasing interaction among the business communities of Turkey and Africa.
  • Initiating a dialogue platform with African Regional Economic Communities.

Participants from Turkey and Africa:

  • President of the Republic of Turkey H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdogan
  • Term President of the African Union and President of the Republic of Rwanda H.E. Paul Kagame and Presidents of African Countries
  • Turkish Minister of Commerce H.E. Ruhsar Pekcan and Ministers of African Countries (Trade, Investment, Economy, and Finance) and Public Officials
  • African Union, Africa Development Bank, Afreximbank and Regional Economic Communities in Africa
  • Banks and Financial Institutions
  • Non-Governmental Agencies (NGOs)
  • Chambers of Commerce and Industry
  • Business Councils, Business Associations and Professional Organizations,
  • Company Executives and Entrepreneurs
  • Sector Representatives, Investors and Producers
  • Turkish and African Diaspora
  • African Diplomatic Missions to Turkey
  • Mass Media

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