FIRST TRADE DELEGATION OF 2018 HELD IN IVORY COAST

The Turkey-Ivory Coast Business Forum and bilateral business negotiations, organized by TIM and coordinated by the Ministry of Economy, took place in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, on January 24-26, 2018. Mustafa ÇIKRIKÇIOĞLU, Deputy Chairman of the TIM, headed the delegation.

The forum, which is organized by the Trade Mission and hosted over 200 people started with the opening speech of Deputy Chairman of Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Ivory Coast Parfait Kouassi. Kouassi stated that a stable economic management plays an important role in the development of a healthy business environment and the creation of an attractive investment system in the development of the Ivory Coast. Stressing the importance of  the Ivory Coast's relations with Turkey continue since 1998, Mr. Kouassi said that there is an increase of bilateral trade volume in 2017 to 428 million dollars while Turkey exports wide variety of goods, a large portion of the Côte d'Ivoire's exports to Turkey is cocoa. He mentioned that 50 Turkish companies in Cote d'Ivoire had an investment of more than $ 100 million, adding that he hoped economic relations between the two countries would continue.

After Mr. Kouassi, Deputy Chairman of the TIM Mr. Mustafa Çıkrıkçıoğlu stated that as representative of 69 thousand exporters of Turkey, it is very important for us with the trade relations with Ivory Coast, one of the shining stars of Africa. Emphasizing the fast growth rate of Ivory Coast, Mr. Çıkrıkçıoplu said that the trade volume between Ivory Coast and Turkey, which has high growth rate as well should move to much higher levels. When Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited Ivory Coast in 2016, he set a 1 billion bilateral trade volume level between two countries.  Mr. Çıkrıkçıoğlu recalled this level and inticated that the this trade delegation is an important organization to serve this purpose.

After Mr. Çıkrıkçıoğlu Ministry of Economy Deputy General Manager Mr. Aytac Yenal took the floor. He said that although the distance between the Ivory Coast and Turkey is long, we believe that the trade volume between two countries will increase, because Abidjan has the most important port in the region and there are direct flights of Turkish Airlines between Istanbul and Abidjan. Stressing the importance of the Agreement of Reciprocal Promotion and Protection of Investments signed between the two countries, he added that Ivory Coast, which is a member of ECOWAS, is very important for Turkish business people because Turkey gives great importance to ECOWAS countries.

Finally Republic of Turkey's Ambassador to Abidjan Mr. Esra Demir made speech. She mentioned that the opening of the Ivory Coast's Embassy in Ankara in 2013, visit of Ivory Coast's President Alassane Vattara to Turkey in March of 2015, visit of Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to Ivory Coast in 2016 and the bilateral agreements signed during these visits are very important for strenghtening the relations between two countries.

After the family photo and giving presents, the forum has ended and Turkish and Ivorien business people started B2B meetings. 26 Turkish firms and more than 180 Ivorien business people conducted more than 450 business meetings.

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