Turkish-SA electrotechnical business in bilateral trade talks

South Africa’s electrotechnical sector met its Turkish counterpart for bilateral trade and investment talks in Sandton, Johannesburg. The business-to-business talks with a 23-member Turkish electronics and electrical goods trade mission follow renewed Turkish-South African commitments to boost bilateral trade.

The Turkish trade talks showcased Turkish white goods, electronics, cables and electrical production and distribution equipment to South African importers, wholesalers, retailers and industry bodies, and paved the way for future partnerships across Africa. The talks came under the ambit of the Turkish Electro Technology Exporters’ Association (TET), a professional body representing over 7500 member companies.

From left are Mehmet Kavaklioglu, vice chairman of the board of TET; Sindi Mzamo, treasurer of the Black Business Council; Hakan Kizartici, deputy director-general, Ministry of Economy, Republic of Turkey; Chiboni Evans, CEO of the SA Electrotechnical Export Council and Atilla Eren, a board member of TET.

Opening the B2B meetings, SA Electrotechnical Export Council CEO Chiboni Evans noted that traditional approaches to export-import partnerships were falling away in the sector across Africa. She said the requirement for local content is becoming a strategic issue across Africa, particularly in electrotechnical infrastructure projects. In South Africa, for example, state-owned enterprises have local content requirements across products such as cables, prepaid and smart meters, pylons, transformers and trains, among others. However, in many cases, countries do not have the capacity to meet these local content requirements.

She said foreign countries must take new, partner-focused approaches to trade with Africa in order to boost the continent’s infrastructure development and economic growth, and to build mutually-beneficial business relations.

Turkey’s fast-growing electronics, white goods and electrical components sector exports over $10-billion in goods to the global market annually. The country, currently the second-fastest growing economy in the world, is seeking broader trade ties with Africa across all sectors.

In another venture, Turkish Airlines is opening new direct routes to Africa and Turkey is planning to open new embassies in all African countries.

Mehmet Kavaklioglu, Vice Chairman of the board of TET, said that, with over $20-million in imports from South Africa and around $36-million in exports to South Africa last year, the TET believed there was significant room for bilateral trade growth. He expressed the hope that the trade mission to South Africa, to be followed by a visit to Nigeria, would serve to boost trade ties across the white goods, electronics and electrical sectors of both countries.

Black Business Council treasurer Sindi Mzamo expressed optimism that the talks would result in concrete business outcomes and eventual skills transfer benefiting the South African economy.

Contact Leigh Angelo, TET, Tel 011 869-9152, leigh@tradeprojects.co.za

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