Diversifying their economies to move up the value chain and industrialize, Africa’s second largest economy, South Africa and Turkey are dedicated to strengthening trade and economic relations between both countries with the aim of increasing two-way bilateral trade and investment.
Speaking at the third Session of South Africa-Turkey Joint Economic Commission (JSE), the South African Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr. Rob Davies, said “Our priority in this regard is the African Continent and the promotion of regional integration in Africa because we need to strengthen the size of the market in our continent and support diversification and the emergence of value-chains within our continent”.
The economy of South Africa is the most industrialized in Africa and accounts for 35% of Africa’s gross domestic product (Purchasing Power Parity); ranked as an upper-middle-income economy by the World Bank. As at 2016, there were challenges to doing business in the country such as inefficient government bureaucracy, restrictive labor regulations, a shortage of educated workers, political instability, and corruption,though the country’s strong banking sector was rated as a strongly positive feature of the economy.
Turkish Minister of National Education, Dr. Ishmet Yilmaz, at the joint Economic Commission noted that both countries aim to raise the two-way bilateral trade volume to $3 billion and then to $5 billion in the medium term.
Defined as an emerging market economy by International Monetary Funds and among the worlds developed countries, Turkey is said to have been reaching out into the African continent as it is the world’s leading producers of agricultural products.
South Africa and Turkey also have pledged to encourage and support mutual investment through the exchange of delegated visits to prioritized sectors and providing possible support to investors from their respective countries that is required to effectively maintain their operations.
Adding to this is the agreement for both countries public and private sectors working together in order to identify investment opportunities in both countries and promote a two-way trade between the countries by enhancing direct contacts between business communities of both Countries.