Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan will set off on an Africa tour this week to explore new business cooperation opportunities.
Pekcan and a Turkish business delegation were scheduled to pay a two-day visit to Nigeria on Monday, and she is expected in Morocco on Tuesday, according to Anadolu Agency (AA).
The Turkey-Nigeria Business Forum will be held in the capital Abuja today. It will be chaired by Pekcan and her Nigerian counterpart Richard Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo.
Pekcan will also meet with Nigerian Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Zubairu Dada, Nigeria's foreign affairs minister, to discuss bilateral economic relations and investments.
Nigeria is the sixth-largest trade partner of Turkey in Africa and the second in sub-Saharan Africa. The two countries' trade volume was $2.3 billion in 2019.
Meanwhile, Turkish contractors assumed 48 projects worth $1.8 billion so far.
Hakan Özel, the head of Turkey-Nigeria Business Council of the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEİK), said Turkey can provide quality and cost-effective products for Nigeria.
"Nigeria's economy is based on imports, there are markets for every Turkish product in the country, which has a 200 million population," he told AA yesterday.
As part of Pekcan's Morocco visit, the Turkey-Morocco Free Trade Agreement's joint committee meeting will be organized in the capital Rabat.
Pekcan will meet with Mohamed Benchaaboun, the country's economy and finance minister, Mouly Hafid Elalamy, the industry, trade and digital economy minister, and Abdelkader Amara, the equipment, transport, logistics and water minister.
Morocco was one of the 17 countries highlighted in Turkey's Export Master Plan, released last September, for raising exports in five main sectors – machinery, automotive, electric and electronics, chemicals and food.
Turkey's exports to Morocco rose by 16% to reach $2.3 billion in 2019 on an annual basis and imports from Morocco dropped by 3.5% to stand at $690 million.
Mehmet Büyükekşi, the head of DEİK's Turkey-Morocco Business Council, said Turkish businesspeople have investments worth around $1 billion in Morocco, and they employ almost 8,000 Moroccans.
"Turkish firms are active in sectors such as contraction, construction, fishery, automotive, retail trade, furniture, iron/steel, carpet, food and apparel in Morocco," he said.