Thursday, September 05, 2013
Turkish Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davutoğlu,
speaking at the opening of the African Strategies Sectoral Evaluation
Meeting in Ankara on Monday (September 2) is reported to have said
Turkey was preparing to create a Turkish industrial zone in Addis Ababa,
as part of the African policy which started in 2005.
He said Ethiopians were aware that Turkey's interest in Ethiopia was
not passing fancy or mere calculation of temporary profits, adding "we
also know that they don't only offer a business opportunity but that
they opened their hearts." He stressed that between Turkey and Ethiopia
there were not only economic but thriving social relations.
He said a Turkish firm invested $50 million in Ethiopia in 2005 and
there were now 341 Turkish companies with a total investment of $3
billion in the country. Turkish companies, he said, can now take
advantage of numerous opportunities in fields such as construction and
trade. And not just in Ethiopia. The Turkish Cooperation and Development
Agency (TİKA) has 30 offices in Africa, and the Undersecretariat for
Foreign Trade another 25. The number of Turkish ambassadors in Africa
has risen to 34 from 12 in 2005.
It has Free Trade Agreements with four African countries, as well as
agreements to prevent double taxation and support mutual investments,
and has established business councils with 17 African countries. Turkish
Airlines flies to 35 African destinations. The amount of Turkish aid to
Africa, with Somalia topping the list, has reached US$750 million.