ANKARA: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said Turkey and Senegal have more than doubled their bilateral trade volume target to $1 billion.
“We will fortify our existing contractual structure with the agreements we will sign during my visit,” Erdogan on Monday told the Turkey-Senegal Business Forum held in the Senegalese capital Dakar.
Erdogan praised “the excellent course” of Turkey’s ties with Senegal, saying they carry key importance in West Africa.
Underlining that the previous bilateral trade volume target of $400 million was successfully achieved, Erdogan said: “Our target now is $1 billion. With our joint efforts, we will reach this figure in short order.”
The trade volume in 2021 jumped 42 percent year-on-year to $540 million despite the coronavirus pandemic, Erdogan highlighted, adding: “I hope we will move towards our goals very quickly in the coming period without losing this momentum.”
He stressed the need to put new mechanisms into practice while utilizing existing opportunities to enhance economic ties between the two countries.
Thanks to its geographical location and influence in the region, Senegal is an export gateway to West African countries, Erdogan noted.
“On the basis of the win-win principle, cooperation channels set especially in the fields of production, agriculture, tourism, textile, industry, energy, food, and health will benefit the entire region,” he added.
Earlier on Monday, the Turkish president was welcomed by his Senegalese counterpart Macky Sall with a ceremony in the Leopold Sedar Senghor airport in the country’s capital Dakar.
Erdogan is currently on his fifth visit to Senegal. He is accompanied by senior Turkish officials including the Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, National Defence Minister Hulusi Akar, and Communications Director Fahrettin Altun.
His four-day Africa tour, from February 20 to 23, began in DR Congo and will move on to Guinea-Bissau after Senegal.
The tour is expected to focus on all aspects of bilateral relations and opportunities for improving cooperation between Turkey and these countries in all fields.
Erdogan has visited Africa nearly 40 times since 2005, as prime minister and president, since Turkey has opened some 40 embassies on the continent.