Togo-Turkey: Commercial partnership moves upward and forward

Wednesday, 20 October 2021 18:01
Togo-Turkey: Commercial partnership moves upward and forward

(Togo First) - President Recep Erdogan from Turkey was in Lomé yesterday, Oct. 19. Visiting Togo for the first time, the leader met with Togo’s President, Faure Gnassingbé. 

During Erdogan’s stay, several cooperation agreements were signed between the two countries. Explaining the Turks’ motivation, Anadolu Agency said Ankara is attracted by “the economic growth Togo has been recording in the past few years, and its political stability,” and hopes for trade between the two nations to increase substantially.

Data released by the Banque Centrale des Etats de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (BCEAO) last January indicates that imports from Turkey to Togo grew from CFA13.39 billion in 2015 to CFA24 billion in 2019. 

The upward dynamic was confirmed in 2020, despite the pandemic. This is one of the strong points the two countries want to leverage to boost trade between them. “Our economic relations, even if they are not yet at the level we want them to be, are improving. In 2020, we reached a trading volume of $148 million (ed. Note: CFA83.4 billion),” said President Erdogan after his one-on-one meeting with Togo’s President.

Looking in-depth, Togo mostly buys manufactured goods - construction material and agro-food products mainly- from Turkey. And it would seem that Turkish goods are cheaper than European goods and of better quality than China’s.

For its part, Turkey mostly buys cotton from Togo, but also fruits and cereals such as soybeans. The UN agency Comtrade valued these exports at CFA2.5 billion in 2019. 

Still in line with the two governments’ efforts to boost bilateral trade, a business forum gathering Togolese and Turkish economic operators should be held in Lomé, in the coming weeks. This summit is good news for Togo which strives to attract more foreign direct investments (FDIs) to finance its national development plan (PND) and the new government roadmap. 

Lomé is particularly interested in benefiting from Turkey’s expertise, relative to construction and agribusiness. The West African capital aims to be the main entry gate for Turkish investors in Africa.

“In Adétikopé, we have set up an industrial park where our Turkish friends could get space to establish their factories,” President Gnassingbé said. “Africa is taking a huge step towards integration and a single continental market. I believe that through us, Turkish investors can access the whole African market,” the Togolese leader added.  

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