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Turkey, Ivory Coast to boost economic cooperation

Turkey, Ivory Coast to boost economic cooperation
Turkish ambassador, speaking shortly before President Erdogan's visit, says trade will be worth $1 billion by 2020

Turkey and the Ivory Coast are to boost economic trade volume to $1 billion by 2020, a Turkish official has said to Anadolu Agency.

Esra Demir, Turkey’s ambassador to the Ivory Coast, was speaking two days ahead of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's West African tour.

"Ten years ago the number of Turkish investors in the Ivory Coast did not exceed the fingers of one hand, but now investment has reached $150 million," she said.

"In 2015, the two presidents had decided to increase the trade volume between Turkey and the Ivory Coast to $1 billion by 2020. So I think we are on track because we recorded an increase of about 17 percent in our trade volume from $330 million [end-2014] to $390 million [end-2015]."

Asked about the expected results of Erdogan’s visit to the Ivory Coast, the ambassador stated that she wants "much more investment from both sides."

"Since our embassy opened here in Abidjan [in 2009], our relationships continue to intensify. At the beginning, there was no signed agreement between the two countries; now there are 11.

"What is expected during this visit is the signing of other agreements because it is important to have a legal base to further relations," the diplomat said, adding that there will be a forum between economic operators from both countries during Erdogan’s visit.

"I cannot tell you how many agreements will be signed, but we are working very intensively with Ivorian ministries to finalize them. The most important thing will be the agreements that regulate and facilitate economic operations," she said.

"There will be two important agreements for economic operators which aim to avoid double taxation and prevent fiscal evasion. There will also be agreements on the promotion and protection of investments, "she said.

Demir added that Turkey will continue its support for the Ivory Coast in the fight against terrorism.

Erdogan will visit Ivory Coast on Feb. 28-29, Ghana on March 1 and Nigeria on March 2.

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