Revisiting the Turkey, COMESA Pact

Turkey and COMESA will begin implementing a cooperation agreement aimed at boosting business links between their entrepreneurs focusing on joint ventures and technology transfer. The Agreement was signed in April 28, 2017 between the Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey (DEIK) and COMESA but has since not been implemented.

On Thursday, September 20, 2018, during a courtesy call by the Special Representative of Turkey to COMESA, Ambassador Sebnem Incesu, to the Secretary General Chileshe Kapwepwe, it was agreed that the MoU should now be actualized to realize the envisaged mutual benefits.

“Turkey looks forward to COMESA participation in the Turkey – Africa Summit in 2019 to promote trade and invest relations,” Ambassador Incesu said.

Under the MOU, the parties had agreed to strengthen their relationship on the basis of cooperation and mutual benefits and will encourage industrial and technical cooperation. This was to be realized through joint production, joint ventures, and the transfer of technology, contacts and activities to promote exchanges between the business communities.

“COMESA has a huge mandate covering a wide spectrum of trade and investment opportunities for Turkish investors and business people,” the Secretary General said. “We will, therefore, seek to leverage on Turkey’s comparative advantages to support our industrialization agenda.”

Turkey’s bilateral trade volume with Africa has increased over the year and Turkish contractors have so far undertaken projects worth over $55 billion. Turkey has opened Commercial Consulates in 26 African capitals.

The COMESA – Turkey MoU was signed by COMESA Assistant Secretary General Ambassador Kipyego Cheluget and Mr. Ömert Cihad Vardan, the President of DEIK signed on behalf of their respective organizations during the First Turkey-Africa Agriculture Ministers’ Meeting and Agribusiness Forum in Antalya, Turkey from 27 to 28 April 2017.

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