The Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey (DEIK), says Ghana is a prioritized country in Turkish private sector’s activities and affairs in Africa because of its stabilized macro economy and political stability, GDP growth as well as its favourable business environment.
“We are, therefore, impressed that the trade volume between the two countries has increased in recent years, we even believe the trade and other economic relations could easily be carried to a much higher level,” Mr. Tamer Taskin, a representative of DEIK, said when the DEIK had a working luncheon with a Ghanaian investment promotion mission in Istanbul, Turkey.
The DEIK operates under the umbrella of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB), the most prominent private sector institution in Turkey covering the chambers of industry and chambers of trade in each province of the country. It’s goal is to assist Turkish private sector in the its operations outside the country by creating necessary platforms where Turkish businessmen can meet with the private as well as public sector representatives of the foreign countries. This platform is Business Council mechanism. For this purpose, DEIK has so far founded Business Councils with 85 countries.
He said the volume of trade between Ghana and Turkey in 2009 was $174 million, an increase of 19 per cent over the previous year, which was $ 146 million, adding that in 2009, Turkish exports to Ghana amounted to $ 72 million, whereas Ghana’s exports to Turkey was recorded as $102 million, registering a bilateral trade surplus of $29 million for Ghana.
About 84 per cent of Ghana’s exports to Turkey consist of cacao products, 15 per cent is gemstone. On the other hand major Turkish exports to Ghana are stones and cement, metals, mineral oils, electrical machinery and equipment.
Mr. Taskin who is also the Coordinating Chairman of Turkish-African Business Councils, said given the favourable conditions prevailing, Turkish companies should be able to market their competitive products or make investments in Ghana.
“For instance, in recent years, we know that Turkish companies undertook $42 million worth construction projects in Ghana. Turkish construction and contracting companies should certainly play an important role in infrastructure development projects in Ghana,” he said.
Mr. Taskin called for the immediate formation of a Turkish-Ghanaian Business Council to provide “our business community a platform to enhance our commercial and investment relations.”
Mr. George Aboagye, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) and leader of the 20-member Ghana’s investment promotion team, said Ghana is a business springboard for Turkish investors, therefore they take advantage of the opportunities available in the country to do brisk business to the benefit of both countries.
He said, for instance with Ghana’s oil boom just about to take off, Turkish investors can go into partnership with their Ghanaian counterparts to help develop that sector which has so many avenues to explore.
Mr. said Ghana’s major energy policy is to have a universal access to electric power by 2020, the current status is 1980 mw, expected to increase to 5000mw by 2015, “and to fill the 3000 mw demand, the government is ready for partnerships with the private sector. The level of investment is estimated to cost $7.5 billion.”
He said investors can take advantage of the of the oil boom to use the gas to produce a sustainable energy for the national grid some of which can even be exported to feed the 300 million West African population which is in dire need of power supply.
“Other areas Turkish investors can venture include infrastructure, agriculture and agric business, manufacturing and industry, tourism, ICT and the financial services,” Mr. Aboagye said.