Luanda — The chairperson of the Turkish Council for Foreign Economic Relations (DEIK), Nail Olpak, announced Wednesday in Ankara an increase in the trade balance with Angola, estimated at USD 500 million.
Speaking at the Business Forum between the two countries, Olpak said that the balance of trade between the two states was USD178 million, which was less than desired.
He acknowledged that bilateral trade between the Angolans and Turks still did not show the real potential of the two countries, hence the need to boost investments.
"We are going to be responsible for that," he said, noting that companies from his country had already invested over USD800 million in Angola in various projects.
He said that he believed the two states could do much more in the field of investment.
"We are friends, but bilateral trade does not show our potential," he expressed, stressing that the agreements signed on Tuesday, as part of the state visit by Angolan President João Lourenço to Turkey, were very important.
He also requested facilities for acquiring visas for Angola in order to increase the presence of Turkish investors, and showed interest in steel exploration.
In his turn, Turkey's Trade minister, Mehmet Mus, said that the forum would help to consolidate relations with Angola, in particular, and Africa, in general.
He said that his country gave great importance to the African continent, where it had invested, by 2013, a total of USD 5 billion, which had risen to USD 25 billion by 2021.
He said that Turkish construction companies had already invested USD 70 billion in projects in Africa, stressing his country's desire to continue boosting trade with Angola.
In view of the existing potential in Angola and Turkey, he said he believed the two countries would reach the new goals in a very short time, and welcomed the invitation from the Angolan President to his Turkish counterpart to visit the country.
He expressed the desire of his country's businesspeople to invest in building hospitals, ports, roads and airports in Angola, which he believed would be made easier with the start of direct flights by Turkish Airlines to Luanda.
In his turn, Angola's Transport Minister, Ricardo de Abreu, said, in response to the questions from Turkish businesspeople, that Angola was interested in developing the shipbuilding industry, and regretted the fact that there was nothing concrete in that area.
He announced that a project is currently being developed for the Porto Amboim region, in Cuanza Sul province, where it is planned to create a maritime and port infrastructure.
This, he said, would focus on developing naval capacity, for maintenance and construction. "We have every interest and are fully available," he told dozens of Turkish businesspeople taking part in the business forum.
Also present at the event, the Minister of State for Economic Coordination, Manuel Nunes Júnior, noted that Angola's main focus was to create an economy that grows in a sustainable and sustained way, or in other words, that does not depend solely on exports.
However, he said that the country needed to create infrastructures to ensure development with efficiency of private investment, and noted that Turkey's Exin Bank had announced a funding line to help Turkish investors in Angola.
"This is a very important element, because it will make life easier for Turkish businesspeople in their investments in Angola, in this area of infrastructures, and contribute to the country having the necessary conditions for regular private investment," he said.
According to the Minister of State, public companies are very welcome in this area, not only in the creation of infrastructures, but also in others linked to the creation of goods and services.
The Angola-Turkey Business Forum was one of the high points of the working day of President João Lourenço, who for two days worked with the Turkish authorities, with a view to re-launching cooperation and identifying new strategic partnerships.