KAGIDER Digital Talks 15- African Market and Opportunities

The topic of “Digital Talks” of KAGIDER was ‘’African Continent: The New Route of Entrepreneurs”. The meeting has started with the speech of KAGIDER’s president Emine Erdem and was moderated by KAGIDER Board Member Feyhan Kapralı. The speakers of the panel were T.C. Abidjan Ambassador Yonca Ozcer, DEIK Africa Coordinator Vice President and DEIK Turkey Togo Business Council President Berna Akyıldız and DEIK Turkey Rwanda Business Council President, DEIK Turkey Mozambique Business Council Vice President Erhan Barutoglu.

Emine Erdem: “Only 7.3 percent of exporters in Turkey are women entrepreneurs.”

KAGIDER President Emine Erdem emphasized the significance of strengthening women entrepreneurs on foreign trade during her speech. She has said that women in Turkey have high potential on entrepreneurship but the potential of women is not represented in daily life and foreign trade. She has added that in Turkey, the percentage of women entrepreneurs is approximately 13 percent and according to Turkey Exporters Council (TIM)’s 2018-2019 activity report, there are 7.3 percent of companies owned by women from 71 thousand exporter firms. Erdem indicated that according to the Turkey Women Entrepreneurship Index research that was published last year, 64 percent of women have future plans to operate abroad with their existing business. She has concluded that these results show us the significance of our works to empower women entrepreneurs in foreign trade and the new road maps to be drawn for this aim.

Erhan Barutoglu: “Turkish series in Africa created a love towards Turkey”

DEIK Turkey RWanda Business Council President and DEIK Turkey Mozambique Business Council Vica President Erhan Barutoglu has said that Africa creates big opportunities. He has said that big opportunities comes from big needs. He has mentioned that therefore, Africa is a place that has both great needs and great opportunities from the perspective of other countries and continents of the world. He has said that due to the covid-19, like whole countries around the world, African market as well had an economic contraction and food, health and logistics sector. In addition, he has mentioned that the volume of trade between Turkey and Africa is 26 billion dollars. The 60 percent of the trade is between North African countries, 35 percent of it is between sub-Saharan countries. With the introduction of Turkish TV series, opening embassies and trade consultancies in Africa and doing intensive work for bilateral relations with 42 countries, there is a growing curiosity and warmth towards Turkey. He has stated that Turkey has an communication with the Sub-Saharan countries therefore as Africa has an matriarchal culture and labeled as “Mother Africa”, it is an important region for women entrepreneurs to do business.

Ambassador Yonca Ozcerı: “Ivory Coast has an opportunities for entrepreneurs.”

T.C. Abidjan Ambassador Yonca Ozceri has stated that Ivory Coast has been pursuing liberal economy continuously since 1960s and its economic structure is open to the world. Ivory coast is world’s biggest cacao producer and it also produces sweet potato, cashew nut and Brazilian walnut and exports them. There is oil and natural gas production and also precious metal production. Face to face interaction, spending time together and creating a trust relationship is important. Turkish products in Ivory Coast is known as more affordable comparing to those in the European market. She has suggested that works should start with small steps and move forward slowly. Ozceri said that the region offers opportunities for entrepreneurs doing business in sectors such as medical products, health tourism, cosmetic, home textile, home and kitchen appliances, investment, water and electricity distribution, logistics and agriculture.

Berna Akyıldız: “World’s attention is on Africa but Africa have an attention for Turkey’’

DEIK Africa Coordinator Vice President and DEIK Turkey Togo Business Council President Berna Akyıldız has explained Turkey’s position in the African market. ‘’Africa’s population is 1/6 of the whole population of the World and it is a young population. Due to the pandemic, world’s economy has been constricted but African market is a great market which offers new opportunities. Africa is a region that we can sell everything we produce and it’s an region that every sector can do business. If you create trust relationships, doing business gets easy and Africans already like Turkish products. Because, our products are cheaper than European products and more qualified than Chinese products. With the effect of Turkish TV series, there is an interest towards Turkish people. African people want to do business with Turkish people. World’s attention is on Africa but Africa cares about Turkey. Africa has 1 trillion dollar trade volume and we get 25 billion dollar share and it is only 2.5 percent of the African pie. Therefore, there is 97.5 percent untouched share that we can still get’’.