Turkey should give work permits to African medical students to boost trade, a senior official with Turkey's Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK) said Monday.
Tamer Taşkın, the coordinating chairman of Turkish-African business councils, said the health sector was one area where Turkey could attract business from Africa.
"We can be very successful in the health sector in most African countries but Africans do not come to Turkey," he told Anadolu Agency.
He added: "I travel from Jordan to Sudan and talk with Sudanese at the airport. Sudanese go to Jordan when they are sick for treatment… I talked with them and asked why they go to Jordan and not Turkey when the Turkish health system is 10 times better than that of Jordan. 'We know Arabic,' they said.
"In the health sector, language is very important. We can be successful in the health sectors of most African countries."
Taksin noted that Turkey hosts more than 4,000 African students who could provide useful links as Turkey seeks to expand into the continent.
"We are talking about 54 countries with 1.5 billion people," he said. "They import everything."
Turkey's trade with Africa reached $17.5 billion last year, a three-fold increase since 2003.