Turkish delegation attends Africa Investment Forum

PRETORIA

A large delegation from the Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey is in South Africa to evaluate investment opportunities.

Erhan Barutoglu, who is heading the delegation at the Africa Investment Forum in Johannesburg, told Anadolu Agency: “We are here to network, make contacts and evaluate the potential of different African countries whose top executives are currently attending the investment forum.”

Barutoglu, who is also the vice chairman of the Turkey-Africa Business Council, said his 16-people delegation has representation from the finance, construction, energy, pharmaceutical and textile sectors.

“Majority of our members are interested in investing in Africa,’’ he said, in a brief interview held at the Turkish ambassador’s residence in the capital Pretoria where a dinner was hosted Tuesday night.

Ambassador Elif Comoglu Ulgen introduced the delegation to South African business leaders at the dinner.

“We are delighted to be invited on this occasion. We have been friends of Turkey for long,’’ said Pule Mokoena, head of policy and research at the Black Business Council of South Africa.

Oguzcan Bulbul, communications director of Turkish firm Abdi Ibrahim Remede Pharma, told Anadolu Agency: “We think there is potential for investing in Africa for the future. We are currently looking to expand into Sub-Saharan Africa.”

He said their 107-year-old company was the only Turkish pharmaceutical business with a factory on the continent in Algeria.

Bulbul said Africa is a huge market for pharmaceutical products as 70 to 90% of medicines are imported.

Abdi Ibrahim Remede Pharma exports medicines to more than 60 countries.

Bulbul said during the Africa Investment Forum, Tanzania invited them to invest in the country.

The Africa Investment Forum brings together African governments, sovereign wealth funds, the private sector, financial intermediaries among others to find ways to unlock the continent’s untapped economic potential.

Last year, 350 investors from 53 countries participated in the forum which is fast becoming the premier platform for engagement on Africa’s growth and development.

The forum last year, mobilized funding for many development projects and initiatives on the continent including the Accra Sky train, Kigali innovation city and the first road-rail bridge project linking Kinshasa, the capital of Democratic Republic of Congo, with Brazzaville, the capital of the Republic of Congo.

The second edition of the forum, organized by the African Development Bank and its partners, will conclude later on Wednesday.
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