Turkey has become one of the most important actors in Africa the recent years, and continues to deepen its relations with different countries. Between September 6 to 8 the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Felix Tshisekedi Turkey and met with Turkish President Erdoğan on September 7th.
Happening on invitation from the Turkish side, this was the first-ever presidential visit from the Democratic Republic of the Congo to Turkey.
Track of Turkish-Congolese relations
The relations have been deepening since 2013, when first Congo opened its embassy in Turkey, followed by the opening of Turkish embassy in Congo in 2014. Both countries established a political consultation mechanism between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs.
In recent years, a number of Turkish contracting companies have shown interest in Congo and realized important projects. In this context, the Brazzaville International Conference Centre was built with Turkish Eximbank credits and was opened on 20 June 2017 with the participation of Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş.
Turkey’s exports to Congo amounted to 55.79 million Dollars and imports to 1.471 million Dollars in 2019. Total bilateral trade volume was 57.250 million in 2019, states the Turkish Foreign Ministry.
Turkish Airlines started its Point-Noire flights 3 times per week as of 30 July 2019.
Through Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA), Turkey is providing development assistance to the Republic of Congo in various domains.
President Tshisekedi is at the same time currently Chairman of the African Union.
Raising bilateral trade
Holding a joint press conference with DRC President Tshisekedi, President Erdoğan said: “It is one of the basic principles of our humanitarian and enterprising foreign policy that we boost our relations and cooperation with Africa. The essence of our relations with Africa is sincerity, brotherhood and solidarity.”
“We have set a target of raising our bilateral trade volume to 250 million dollars in the first phase. The agreements we have just signed will immensely contribute to the attainment of this target”, said Erdoğan.
The two sides signed three different agreements during the meeting, covering mutual investment support and protection, dual taxation and cooperation in the tourism sector.
The Turkish President said that he had proposed cooperation in energy production, automobile sector and ports construction. Erdoğan added that he vill visit the Democratic Republic of Congo soon.
Three different agreements signed
The Congolese President also met with business people in Istanbul, and the Turkish newspaper Yeni Şafak, known for good ties to the government, reported that cooperation in mining, defense industry, industry and agriculture sectors were discussed.
Turkish-African summit ahead
The two sides also discussed the preparations for the Third Turkish-African summit expected to be held in October.
Turkey has raised its embassies in Africa from 12 in 2002 to 43 in 2021. African countries have also established widened presence in Turkey by increasing the number of their embassies in Ankara to 37, from 10 at the beginning of 2008.
Turkey became an observer member of the AU in 2005 and was declared strategic partner of the Continent at the Summit held in 2008.