ISTANBUL - Anatolia News Agency
Benin President Yayi (L) requests assistance from Turkey in agriculture.
Term President of the African Union (AU) and President of Benin, Thomas Boni Yayi, said July 10 that Benin stood in the middle of a market of 500 million people.
Speaking at the Turkey-Benin Trade and Investment Forum in Istanbul, Yayi stressed that those investing in Benin were not merely investing in his country.
“Benin, at the same time, happens to be the gate that opens to the African continent,” Yayi said.
“The foreign trade volume between Turkey and the African continent was $742 million a decade ago. Today, the foreign trade volume has reached $7 billion,” he said. In the next 10 years, Africa’s economic development will be the strongest development in the world, Yayi said. “We want to work with you and request your assistance in agriculture. Africa is back and wants its voice to be heard.”
Yayi mentioned looking to Turkey as an economic model. “We want to make progress by following Turkey’s model. We want to offer great opportunities for investments to Turkish businesspeople. We want to offer you a market of 500 million people,” Yayi said.
“I want to establish a Benin Business Forum in two months and organize a Turkish day. Turkish President Abdullah Gül promised us that he would send four plane loads of Turkish businesspeople when we do establish the Benin Business Forum,” said Yayi. “President Gül will be our guest of honor at a meeting in January 2013,” he said.