23 November 2012

South Africa: Deputy Minister Thabethe Continues Mission to Improve Trade Between Nation and Turkey

press release

The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Ms Elizabeth Thabethe's mission to increase the trade volume between South Africa and Turkey continued in earnest yesterday when she addressed a business seminar attended by business people from both countries in the western port city of Izmir.

Thabethe urged business people from South Africa and Turkey to seize trade and investments opportunities that exist in both countries and contribute in increasing the trade between the two countries.

"Existing levels of trade between our countries are concentrated in a few sectors, most notably gold and petroleum and there is a need for diversification. We have to work actively together to promote trade between South Africa and Turkey so that the trade volumes can increase beyond the 2008 levels where our trade peaked at R10,6 million. We also need to change the composition of our trade from commodities and raw materials to value-added products," said Thabethe.

She added that Turkey offered a wealth of knowledge in the clothing and textile industry as well as the mineral beneficiation and jewellery sectors.

"South Africans can therefore benefit greatly from constructive partnership in these industries, especially relating to skills development and training," said Thabethe.

Thabethe also said bridging the gaps of infrastructure in Africa remained a key challenge, adding that there was an opportunity for Turkish investors to take part in the infrastructure projects in Africa and take advantage of the growing market of over one billion people on the continent.

Since her arrival in Turkey on Monday, Thabethe has addressed more than 300 business people in two seminars and held bilateral meetings with the country's political and business leaders, including her Turkish counterpart Mustafa Sever and the Deputy Governor of the Izmir state, Mr Ibrahim Balli, She also met influential business women, Ms Leyla Alaton, a board member of Alarko Holding, one of Turkey's largest conglomerates in construction, contracting, energy, tourism and food businesses and leader of Kagider, the Turkish Association of Women entrepreneurs, and Ms Ela Atakan, the Director of the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies.

The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Ms Elizabeth Thabethe's mission to increase the trade volume between South Africa and Turkey continued in earnest yesterday when she addressed a business seminar attended by business people from both countries in the western port city of Izmir.

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