STRATEGIC PARTNERSIP IN ECONOMIC RELATIONS OF SUDAN AND TURKEY
The second largest African official visit of 2017 to Sudan, Chad and Tunisia under the leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is the last major overseas delegation visit this year. Under the coordination of the Ministry of Economy, the delegation of DEİK and the Turkish business community are visiting three important countries of North and Central Africa. More than 150 Turkish business people are exploring opportunities and investment climate in the region as part of their official visits to the three countries between 24-27 December 2017.
Sudan-Turkey Business Forum which is the first business meeting organized as part of the visit, was held in Khartoum on December 28th with the participation of Economy Minister of Republic of Turkey Nihat Zeybekci, Sudan Deputy Prime Minister Mubarak Alfadel, Sudan Financial and Economic Development Minister for Mohamed Osman Elrekab, DEİK/Turkey-Sudan Business Council Chairperson Mehmet Ali Korkmaz and 400 Turkish and Sudanese business people.
Minister of Economy Nihat Zeybekci, who spoke to Turkish and Sudanese business people at the opening of the forum, emphasized that the visit is a historic day for Turkey and Sudan. Zeybekci stated that important steps have been taken within the High Level Strategic Cooperation Agreement signed between the two countries. Zeybekci said that we must solve the problems in areas such as banking and money transfers. In the first few months of the year, we will ask you very important things from the moment you start working with our agreement. Let's get rid of the rules that some of us have put us in. We were always on Sudan's side when sanctions and embargoes applied to Sudan. With a common banking system, we will do our account together. In mutual trade, let's pay with domestic currencies. When we return to Turkey, we will determine a road map and evaluate our future goals together. I think we will have solved many problems when we come back in the autumn of 2018. He also stated that Sudan needed infrastructure and that Turkish people needed the products grown in Sudan. Zeybekci said that he believed there would be a milestone change after today. He said that within 10 days, Commercial Counselor will start serve within the scope of the Embassy.
Deputy Prime Minister of Sudan Mubarak Alfadel reminded that the highest level meeting and signing agreements are an important step towards strategic partnership.According to Alfadel, Sudan's natural resources, geographical location and arable lands will meet with Turkey's technological and economic power. Sudan can achieve large industrial development by bringing together both countries' financial facilities and possibilities. The Sudanese minister said that Sudan needed basic infrastructure, increased production. He stated that they wanted to cooperate with Turkish business people, especially in agriculture and industry projects in order to transfer resources to infrastructure projects in railway, energy, water and road areas. Alfadel stated that Turkey and Sudan joint investment will achieve 1 Billion USD by planting 1 million hectares and they hope that Turkish companies will also contribute to infrastructure investments. According to Alfadel, Sudan and Turkey should start with such projects so that the capital can be provided and the profits of the companies of the two countries can be increased. Turkey has taken very important big steps. A major economic breakthrough has been achieved in the last 10 years. Taking the example of Turkey, we want to achieve our economic development. We know that the great Asian countries are raising the competition in Africa. Our 3-year plan with Sudan's private sector will start in 2018 to increase production. The aim is to raise Sudan's agricultural and industrial production to 10 billion US Dollars. We think we can reach this target within 1 year with Turkey. We want to start the necessary planning from now on. We want to have a co-operation that will spread to the depths of Africa.
Mohamed Osman Elrekabi, Minister of Financial and Economic Development in Sudan, said that those who will develop relations between the two countries are business people. He pointed out that he believes in target of 10 billion US dollar trade volume that the two countries Presidents have decided. He also indicated that Sudanese business people will be predominantly responsible for the private sector in economic production. Elrekabi advised Sudanese business world representatives to take advantage of the experiences of Turkish business people and said that Sudan also has great opportunities for Turkish business people. According to Sudanese Minister Elrekabi, we have fertile soils, water and ground waters that are suitable for agriculture. Especially in livestock we have more than 100 million animals all over. We have an important potential in livestock. Our proximity to the Red Sea is giving us an advantage in logistics. We have the best ports of the Red Sea. We are very fortunate about fishing and aquatic products. Sudan has a prominent position. Sudan is called "golden soils" in Egyptian language. We are rich in iron, gold, chrome and copper, and in a multitude of minerals. All of these resources are untouched and we are waiting for your investments. We want to improve these resources. We wish that our first strategic partner is Turkish people and Turkish business people. Elrekabi also invited the Turkish banking sector to invest in Sudan. He said that you will not only sell the products produced here to Sudan. You will sell it to the entire African and Arab world. We also want to benefit from the engineering experience of the Turkish people. We want to develop our experience in machinery industry. Apart from Eximbank, we want to work with other banks in Sudan. Development cannot be expected in other areas without developing the banking sector.
Yusif Ahmet Yusif, General Director of Federation of Sudan Chambers of Commerce, stated that the commercial and investment relations of the two brothers' countries are working in cooperation with Eximbank. Yusif said that we have an agreement on a basic axis. We will concentrate on production inagriculture, mining and industrial projects and increase exports with the agreements signed by the two countries' governments. Incentives will be provided to these projects.
DEİK/Turkey-Sudan Business Council President Mehmet Ali Korkmaz paid attention to the harmony of the Turkey and Sudan. Korkmaz stated that they expect bilateral trade volume, which is at the level of US $ 500 million, to reach higher rates. He also said that they hoped the disadvantage against the country would be eliminated.