Turkey, Tanzania ink deals to boost trade, development

 24 Jan 2017 - 9:46

Turkey, Tanzania ink deals to boost trade, development
Photo: AA.


DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania: Turkey and Tanzania Monday signed nine agreements in defense, economic development, and health on the first stop of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Southeast African tour.

Erdogan, accompanied by several Turkish officials, met his Tanzanian counterpart John Magufuli at the country's Presidential Palace.

At a joint press conference after the signing ceremony, Magufuli thanked the Turkish president and said the agreements will strengthen the development of both countries.

Erdogan said the bilateral and inter-delegations meetings were "fruitful" for both Turkey and Tanzania.

"We have seen a very serious potential for cooperation between the two countries," Erdogan said, and added:

"We will further deepen our cooperation with the new projects in the economy, trade, tourism, agriculture, railways, industry, and construction, and the agreements we have signed clearly demonstrate our determination in this direction."

Pointing ahead to addressing businesspeople of both countries at a Turkey-Tanzania business forum with Magufuli, Erdogan said Turkey seeks to boost investments to contribute to Tanzania’s development.

"We believe that we have to increase our bilateral trade volume, which is below $150 million, to higher levels," he said.

"We agreed during bilateral negotiations that we have to increase this goal first to $250 million and then to $500 million. The progress we have made in recent years shows that these figures are reachable."

Magufuli said that Turkish investors have employed more than 2,000 people in Tanzania.

Saying that Tanzania is an agricultural country like Turkey and that there are many steps to be taken in this area, Magufuli added they also want to learn from Turkey's technology.

- ‘Bigger than 5’
Evoking his frequent assertion that "the world is bigger than five” – meaning the five permanent UN Security Council members – Erdogan called for the rotation of all seats on an expanded council through all 193 member states.

"Because the United Nations is not fair now. As a result, crises are not coming to an end in the Middle East and not stopping in Africa either."

"They will all be permanent members. Let's say 20 members, 20 members will serve for two years. Then switch out 10, keeping the other 10. Then switch out those 10 and continue with the others.

"When we do this, you will see that the world's destiny will change a lot."

Erdogan also said Turkey "is ready to help rid all African countries” of the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), mentioning how in the last July’s coup attempt – which Turkey blames on the group – 248 people were martyred.

Erdogan arrived in Tanzania on Sunday for a two-day official visit, part of his five-day Southeast Africa tour. He will visit Mozambique on Jan. 24 and Madagascar on Jan. 25- 26.

In addition to the deadly coup attempt, Ankara has also said FETO is behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.

The terrorist group is also known for its network of hundreds of schools around the world.

So far, over 80 FETO organizations operating abroad, including schools and training centers, have been shut down or transferred to the Turkish government.