Turkish and South African firms met Friday in Johannesburg to explore investment opportunities, reports Anadolu Agency.
"Our (Turkish) economy is one of the fastest growing economies in the region. In the past 19 years, Turkiye's economy has been growing at an average of 5.4% but in the first quarter of this year it grew to 7.4%," Yasemin Esenlik, a representative of the Presidency of the Republic of Turkiye Investment Office, told Anadolu Agency after the meeting.
She visited South Africa with two other colleagues to promote investment opportunities for Türkiye at the South Africa-Turkiye Investment and Trade Day event organised by the Turkish Embassy and the Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
She said Turkiye is a great investment destination owing to its strategic location between Asia and Europe.
"Turkiye attracted $240 billion foreign direct investment (FDI) in the last 19 years and as of 2021, we attracted $14.1 billion. We are close to our pre-pandemic numbers of FDI," Esenlik said.
She said companies from across the world are choosing Turkiye because it is a manufacturing and logistical hub, and research and development center with more than 500 companies having their headquarters in the country.
Esenlik said currently there are over 60 South African companies operating in Turkiye and 70 Turkish companies operating in South Africa. She said the trade volume between the two countries is $2.1 billion.
"There was a couple of things that stood out for me, as we explored these different aspects (of investment opportunities) and one particular aspect for us is to say that both South Africa and Turkiye are great trade destinations. One from a perspective that Turkiye is a gateway into Europe in terms of its location in central Europe, and provides a lot of support for businesses to come in and for them to navigate the way." Shawn Theunissen, head of the Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told Anadolu Agency after the meetings.
He said there has been a key focus on manufacturing in the automotive industry as well as renewable energy space.
"From a South Africa perspective we also view that Johannesburg and (particularly South Africa) is a gateway economy into the rest of Africa," Theunissen said.
He said they heard the experiences of South African companies that have invested in Turkiye such as Metair and Turkish companies in South Africa such as Defy.
"Some key sectors we explored in terms of opportunities are in the extractive industry, manufacturing space, retail space specifically from fabric and fashion perspective but also in the tourism space," he said.
Turkish Ambassador to South Africa Aysegul Kandas told Anadolu Agency: "The event was successful with around 100 people attending which shows growing interest in investment and trade between the two countries."