Turkey plans to enhance investments in Somalia
AA photoTurkey plans to increase investments in Somalia and boost trade ties with the country, said top-level officials in a series of meetings on Feb. 22-23.
“We built Turkey’s largest embassy building in Mogadishu. We also built the Mogadishu Training and Research Hospital, one of the biggest hospitals in East Africa. A women’s and birth hospital with a capacity for 100 beds will be opened soon… We offer scholarships to more than 1,000 Somali students. We are supporting the restructuring process of Somalia,” said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at the opening of the Turkish-Somali sixth High Level Partnership Forum in Istanbul on Feb. 23.
During a business forum late Feb. 22, an economic and trade cooperation agreement was also signed between Turkey and Somalia.
“Turkey’s investment in Somalia has reached around $100 million. This number should be accepted as a beginning,” Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Lütfi Elvan said at the business forum held by the Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey (DEİK) in Istanbul on Feb. 22.
Turkey will encourage “entrepreneurs to make investments in the fishing, construction and agricultural fields in particular in Somalia,” Elvan said, as quoted by Anadolu Agency.
“We believe in Somalia’s development with all our hearts. We have decided to stand together with Somalia and its people,” he added.
Elvan noted that Somalia had showed significant progress in the recent years, while adding that poverty and youth unemployment remained a huge problem.
He underlined the importance of structural reforms that would enable more young people and women to join the workforce and create a more investment-friendly climate.
Somali Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke said Turkey has been an important ally of the country in terms of investments and that Somalia was attractive for investors because of its rich natural resources and human resources.
Underlying the great potential of the country in terms of energy and transportation, Sharmarke said the direct flights of Turkish Airlines to Mogadishu had created an important platform for investors.
Turkey’s trade volume with African countries increased to $19.4 billion in 2015, up from $4 billion in 2000, DEİK President Ömer Cihad Vardan said at the forum.
“We are ready to give any kind of support in order to ensure Somalia’s resources are used in its economy,” he added.
Turkey made around $71 million in exports to Somalia in 2015, according to official data.