South Africa is looking to further strengthen its trade ties with Turkey following at least two decades of cooperation between the two nations.
Giving a keynote speech at this year’s Turkey – South Africa Business Forum held in late-April, 2018, South African Ambassador Pile Isaac Malefane noted that the two nations were working to reinforce their existing ties.
This came just after the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, the South African Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Group Chairman, Ms Bennur Karaburun, Istanbul Deputy Mr Nurettin Nebati and his delegation visited South African Ambassador Malefane and discussed bilateral relations between the countries.
The meeting comes at a time when South Africa is making an aggressive push to market the nation in Turkey.
In fact, Ambassador Malefane’s meeting came just days after Minister of Small Business Development in South Africa, Ms Lindiwe Zulu held a panel discussion on Global Entrepreneurship in Istanbul, the capital of Turkey.
South Africa and Turkey have a long-standing relationship.
In 2016, it emerged that Turkey aims to increase its exports to South Africa by 10%
Turkey’s government has noted in the past that the Republic of South Africa has a highly-developed infrastructure that extends to its neighbouring countries creating an advantageous starting point for market entry into other sub-Saharan countries.
Prior to this, in 1997, the two nations formed an organization known as Turkey-South Africa Business Council
The Business Council is currently interested in deepening bilateral relations and also serves as a platform for joint Turkish-South African ventures in third countries.
This month’s forum follows a similar event in 2017 when a Turkish Exporters Assembly (TIM) delegation attended a Business forum in the Durban region in South Africa. The TIM carried out 200 business to business (B2B) meetings with the aim of increasing export to South Africa.
Leadership of the TİM delegation was done by Kazım Güven, Member of the Board of the Mediterranean chemicals and chemical products exporters association who underlined that in 2015 Turkey’s export to South Africa was $489 million with the aim of increasing this figure to $550 million by 2017.
Exports to South Africa have quadrupled since 2003 with an increase of 12% annually.