Magazine article African Business

Turkey Favours Joint Ventures in Africa

Magazine article African Business

Turkey Favours Joint Ventures in Africa

Article excerpt

One important facet of Turkey's interest in both North and sub-Saha-ran Africa is Ankara's ambition of encouraging manufacturing and industrial joint ventures in Africa. Turkey is a genuine emerging market in that it has developed out of a dependency on agricultural exports and now has a burgeoning manufacturing sector. Turkish government research has also identified agriculture, energy, mining and tourism as being among the most attractive investment options in Africa.

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Speaking at the 7th Turkey-Africa Trade Bridge in December, the vice president of the Turkish Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists (Tuskon), Ahmet Ciger, said that trade between Turkey and Africa was on the verge of taking off.

A total of 600 Turkish business representatives met 350 African counterparts at the event to discuss joint ventures. Ciger said: "There is potential for, particularly, construction and infrastructure investments in Africa for Turkish firms. In addition to these sectors, we have to attract Turkish investments to such promising fields as automotive, food, furniture and home textiles in Africa."

Some Turkish firms are already setting up their own operations in Africa, often in partnership with local companies. Turkey's Latek Logistics is now an active participant in the East African logistics sector through its Latek Group East Africa subsidiary. Chairman Levent Erdogan said: "The group proposes to set up a container freight station in the country and others regionally. Towards this end, s6om has been initially earmarked to cover the development cost of the facilities. We have chosen Kenya to be the natural hub and launch pad for our operations due to the country's physical and trade connectivity."

Another $4om will be invested by Latek in the rest of the region, while Turkish com-pany, LTK Homes, is setting up a joint venture in Kenya to import Turkish construction materials.

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Turkish Airlines (THY) expects to generate much of its growth over the next few years through its African business. In February, the company's general manager Temel Kotil said: "Africa is increasingly important for Turkey and THY. We are aiming to become the leading carrier in the continent. …

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