It is with great pleasure that I welcome all of you to the Third Turkey–Africa Economic and Business Forum which is organized under the theme “Deepening Turkey-Africa Partnership: Trade, Investment, Technology & Logistics”. The choice of the theme is a clear recognition of the importance that the African Union attaches to Africa-Turkey Cooperation.
This Forum provides us, yet again, with a golden opportunity to underscore the increasing socio-economic dynamism of Africa-Turkey Cooperation which is anchored on the principle of mutual benefit. Moreover, it demonstrates the emerging role of Africa as a dynamic player in the global business landscape.
We are working jointly in shaping an economically progressive future of the people of Africa and Turkey. We are also investing in logistics, which go hand in hand with trade and investment. Moreover, we underscore great importance in the market competitiveness of the countries of Africa and Turkey through rapid development of logistics. With the start of operation of the Africa continental Free Trade Area this year, enhanced investments in logistics, including transport technologies will be required to take advantage of large economies of scale and scope. In this new environment of bright prospects, increased investments in logistics infrastructure by both domestic and foreign investors will produce gains in both efficiency and competitiveness, and consequently, higher returns on investments.
With a young population, growing middle class and large market space of the African Continental Free trade Area, Africa is repositioning herself as an attractive market for trade and investments to both investors and traders in Africa and the rest of the world. This position is a call to Africa-Turkey Cooperation to be broadened and deepened.
The private sector is a major source of growth and development. At the same time, the public sector has the key responsibility of creating the enabling environment for business to thrive. With an enabling environment, the private sector will be prepared to face the challenges of today’s stiff global competition by strengthening capacities, embracing innovation, and working hand in hand with governments to invest in areas that are critical to the socio-economic progress of the people of Africa and Turkey.
Africa and Turkey meet this year against a background where the whole world faces a challenging future of climate change. This challenge demands transition to a world of net zero carbon emissions by 2050. The decarbonization transition should cover all areas such as agri-business, manufacturing, transport, tourism; and, among others, energy. This is a transition which will also guide future cooperation between Africa and Turkey. For example, Africa offers huge opportunities in investments in renewable energy such as solar energy and hydropower. Within the framework of Africa-Turkey cooperation, the Turkish private sector should not hesitate and quickly seize such opportunities.
Against this backdrop, the theme of this Forum as very appropriate. I look forward to participants to be guided by the theme in engaging in fruitful deliberations and coming up with constructive recommendations, which, when implemented, will create a better and sustainable future in Africa-Turkey Cooperation.
I thank you all.