Remarks by the Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe on the occasion of the South Africa–Turkey Business Forum, Johannesburg
5 Oct 2011The Programme Director;
Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey, Mr Recep Tayyip Erdoðan;
Ministers and Deputy Ministers;
Members of the business delegations;
Ladies and Gentlemen:
Your Excellency it is once again a pleasure to welcome you and your esteemed delegation on this visit to further strengthen the economic co-operation between Turkey and South Africa.
Since we last met in May 2010, the global economy has further become uncertain with many countries struggling to avoid a potential slip into double-dip recessions.
There have also been different challenges occasioned by natural disasters hitting Japan, New Zealand and Somalia, and social conflicts in North Africa and some Middle Eastern countries.
As such the global economic environment is a mine-field through which South Africa and Turkey will need to navigate carefully in order to find the pockets of opportunities hidden in this turmoil.
With the Euro Zone and the United State of America severely affected, it is common cause that developing countries are equally exposed and should therefore contribute towards efforts to resolve this crisis.
This necessarily requires a seismic shift in global trading patterns with countries such as South Africa and Turkey being recognised as new economic and regional players. Developing countries’ increasing share of world trade is testament to this.
Much stock needs to be placed on the fact that a significant part of this progress has been achieved via trade between developing nations, this will go a long way to ensuring shared growth and balanced trade between the developed and developing world.
Moreover rather than the exchange of commodities, the structure and composition of trade between developing nations should be in advanced and manufactured goods.
Our countries are strategically located with South Africa as the gateway to the African Continent, and Turkey in the Middle East neighbouring various European Union States.
Thus our two countries hold enormous trade and investment potential that needs to be reinforced through closer co-operation.
For South Africa it is therefore essential to begin to develop stronger trade and investment related initiatives with our Turkish partners.
In order to do this we need to identify those areas where complementarities or comparative advantage exist.
In this regard, I am pleased that trade between South Africa and Turkey has been growing, with exports to Turkey increasing from R1 billion in 2004 to R4 billion in 2008. This is an increase of over 75% of South Africa’s exports to Turkey in nominal terms.
Our growing economies also offer good growth opportunities for trade, investment and technical cooperation.
This will be useful in determining areas wherein export promotional activity could be targeted.
Increased cooperation in various fields such as education, skills development, minerals beneficiation, tourism, commerce and the defence industry, are consequently of great importance.
However, more still needs to be done in terms of developing tangible deliverables by both parties, especially in the areas of business-to-business exchanges.
These also include investigating associated market access concerns and Non- Tariff Barrier issues in specific areas.
Ideally these concerns should be addressed through the establishment of a Business Council once we have established capacity.
Ladies and Gentlemen;
South Africa is well positioned to be a manufacturing centre with a diversified base of industrial sectors.
Our country has an open economy and provides a sound business case for investment and profit.
We have a large number of competitive industries, abundant natural resources and well-developed transport and logistical infrastructure. Our financial systems are stable and we have a sound constitution and institutional framework to protect property rights.
Turkey has 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.
Ladies and Gentlemen;
Working together, we should leverage the opportunity to steer the South Africa-Turkey relations into a new direction of mutual prosperity, growth, and development.
As governments, we seek to create an environment conducive for mutually-beneficial trade to occur.
I sincerely hope that through this Business Forum, and other engagements like these, our business people will exploit the new vistas of opportunity created by our respective governments.
I thank you.
Issued by: The Presidency
5 Oct 2011
[ Top ]