A fifteen-member business delegation from Turkey, led by the Turkish Ambassador to Ghana, Nesrin Bayazıt, have paid a courtesy call on the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, at the Manhyia Palace, in Kumasi.
The visit to the Manhyia Palace, which coincided with the marking of ‘Awukudae,’ was to reaffirm the commitment of Turkish businesses to partner and work with local companies in the country, particularly businesses in the Ashanti region.
This come at the heels of the growing multilateral cooperation between Turkey and Africa, resulting in the recently held ‘Turkey-Africa Business and Economic Forum,’ at Istanbul, in Turkey.
The event, which is the second one to be held after a similar event in 2016, was consistent with Turkey’s African opening policy to improve their commercial and investment relations with African countries.
To realise this objective, the Chairman of the Turkey Ghana Business Council, of the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEiK), Turan Koçyiğit, said they aim to at least double Turkey’s trade record with Ghana, of about $500 million achieved in 2016, to $1 billion.
Ghana is among five countries in Africa, including Ethiopia, Kenya, and Egypt that have been listed as the top priority of DEiK for 2018, while it also is ranked 11th on the list of African countries trading with Turkey.
It was in line with this, which the business delegation, who are also members of the Turkey Ghana Business Council, traveled to Ghana, on a three-day working visit, to discuss mutual investment opportunities that exist between the two countries.
They first had series of meetings with some local businesses in Accra before journeying to Kumasi.
The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, speaking through his linguist at the Palace, welcomed the decision to engage local businesses in the Region, particularly at the time the government is embarking on an industrialization drive with its flagship ‘One District One Factory’ programme.
He observed that as he is about to mark his 20th anniversary, it would be fulfilling to realize ‘compelling’ business growth within the Region and beyond.
Turan Koçyiğit, who is also the Chief Executive of VEFA Holdings A.Ş., in Turkey, in an interview after the visit expressed optimism about the opportunities that would result from the engagement.
He said among others that Ghana can equally benefit from Turkey’s know-how in agriculture, agro-processing, construction, textiles, tourism, manufacturing among others.
The Turkish delegation later, in a business to business engagement, met to also discuss business opportunities with local business operators, in Kumasi.
Among a host of local entrepreneurs who participated in the discussions was the Chief Executive of Uni-Jay Company Limited, Mrs. Janet Abobigu as well as several key members of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), in the Region.
The Executive Vice President of TRANSTAS Global Logistics, Ersel Topaloğlu, who also doubles as the Vice Chairman of Turkey Ghana Business Council, speaking at the ceremony urged business relations to be built on openness and integrity in order to sustain business growth.
Some of the local businesses in an interaction after the event expressed satisfaction of having the opportunity to directly engage potential business partners unlike in other instances where business deals are brokered through third-parties.