SA and Turkey commit to increasing Trade and Innovation Cooperation

South Africa and Turkey have committed to strengthening trade and economic relations to increase two-way bilateral trade and investment. The commitment was made on the last day of the third session of South Africa-Turkey Joint Economic Commission (JSE) that was addressed by Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies and the Turkish Minister of National Education, Dr Ishmet Yilmaz. “We have noticed and welcomed the fact that in recent years, Turkey has been reaching out into the African continent. As a country, we are in a situation where we are growing far too slowly. What we need to do as the South Africa economy and also as part of the African continent is to diversify, move up the value-chain and industrialise,” Minister Davies said on Thursday.

Minister Davies was pleased that bilateral trade between Turkey and South Africa continued to show a growing trend since the last JSE was held in Ankara in 2012. Ministers Davies and Yilmaz pledged to work together to ensure maximum utilisation of initiatives aimed at promoting two-way trade between the countries. These include enhancing of direct contacts between business communities of the two countries, synchronising and identifying promotional activities to be held in each other’s countries which present possible cooperation in mutual beneficial areas, with regard to exports and imports. Initiatives also include encouraging the participation of relevant companies in fairs, trade exhibitions and conferences held in each other’s countries.

During the session, the two countries also committed to redoubling their efforts to deepen investment by encouraging and supporting mutual investments through the exchange of business delegation visits in prioritised sectors and providing the necessary and possible support to investors. Minister Davies said South Africa is also looking at the promotion of regional integration on the continent. “We need to strengthen the size of the market in our continent and support diversification and the emergence of value-chains within our continent,” said Minister Davies at the meeting held in Tshwane.

h3. Innovation

Minister Davies also spoke of the importance of innovation. Addressing the 6th Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Conference in Tshwane, Minister Davies said it is vital for South Africa to develop local technologies that will help the country to become competitive. He said the premium for innovation has been raised and that there is a need to accelerate and increase outputs for industrial revolution in all parts of South Africa’s economy. “A disruptive change is upon us, therefore, we need to work harder, smarter and collaborate with experts in this field in order to take up new technologies and commercialise innovations to achieve and support industrial development,” he said.

The purpose of the two-day conference was to discuss the role of science, technologies and innovation in industrial development and was attended by scientists, engineers and researchers from both the public and private sector. At the same time Into SA in cooperation with Turkish BinoPlus embarked on a 2-week Roadshow to lay the basic foundation of getting to know Sub-Saharan Africa.

h3. Information on Sub-Saharan Africa

In Presentation and Workshops from Istanbul via Gebze to Bursa, Into SA and BinoPlus held Workshops and Presentations in front of the main Chambers of Commerce and their members. Some presentations were attended by more than 100 Turkish company representatives, showing the interest of Turkish business in Africa. The Presentations and Workshops focussed on the Chances and the Risks of expanding existing Turkish businesses into Africa, as well as to explain the ways in which to conduct business and under which sector-specific legal and practical regimes.

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