Leading Turkish construction and manufacturing companies are showcasing their products and services at the African Construction Expo - the biggest on the continent - with hopes of penetrating the sub-Saharan Africa market.
"This is the first time we are exhibiting in South Africa, but we have already gotten an overwhelming response mainly from people who want to be our distributors," a board member of the prominent Turkish crane manufacturer BVS Bülbüloğlü told Anadolu Agency (AA) on Wednesday.
He said the leading crane manufacturer has a huge market base across the world but now wants to enter the African market, where it currently supplies equipment for only a few countries.
Kemal Eke, sales and marketing director of Tensaform, said his company was exhibiting in South Africa because the market is less exposed to international contractors.
"We are looking for partners in Africa to work with us instead of clients," he told AA at Tensaform's exhibition booth at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand, Johannesburg.
He said his company has just finished constructing and installing coverings at the Al Bayt Stadium in Qatar, which will host the 2020 soccer World Cup. They are also busy working on membrane cover installations on two stadiums in the Gulf state.
"We have received a good response at this expo. There is potential for Turkish products here," said Mustafa Akman, chief executive officer of AK Export Import, a steel production firm based in Istanbul. He said many people at the exhibition were impressed that Turkish steel products are fairly priced yet are of high quality.
Turkish Ambassador Elif Çomoğlu Ülgen and Demet Işıl Karakurt, commercial counselor at the Turkish Embassy in Pretoria, welcomed the Turkish exhibitors.
"Fifteen prominent Turkish companies are attending the expo for the first time. This is an indication that the Turkish construction sector is eyeing the market in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in South Africa," Karakurt said.
"Turkey is among the leading countries in the world, running in the top 10 with a good reputation of constructors and construction," she said, adding, "There are a number of government buildings, national parliaments, airports, stadiums and hotels among others across the world which have been built by Turkish construction firms."
The three-day expo features more than 9,500 construction professionals from over 65 countries and provides a platform to conduct business, network and learn.