By Gilbert Ankrah And Raymond Kwofie
President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has announced that his country would increase trade volumes with Ghana to $1 billion by the year 2020.
Mr. Erdogan announced this when he addressed the Parliament of Ghana on Tuesday as part of his two-day official visit to the country.
Mr. Erdogan, who spoke through an interpreter, said trade volumes between Turkey and Ghana used to be US$ 41 million in 2002, adding that in 2011 and 2012, the amount shot up significantly to half a billion dollars.
He said although trade volumes between the two countries decreased in the past three years, "significant opportunities for cooperation, especially, in the fields of construction and defence could be explored".
"We are going to increase bilateral trade between the two countries to one billion dollars by the year 2020. Turkish companies will undertake major projects in Ghana in order to contribute to its development," he said.
"We need a much robust and much more productive cooperation. We need to encourage the companies of both countries and we need to improve our relationship in every aspect possible for the benefit of our people," he stressed.
The Turkish President said his country's foreign policy was focused on promoting and fostering relationship with respect to agriculture, culture, trade, defence and education and that Turkey's relationship with Africa was based on justice and equality.
He indicated that Turkey's NGOs were in close collaboration with other countries in Africa in the field of education, nutrition, health care and irrigation to help them develop as fast as possible. Turkey, he added, had a very dynamic population and invited Ghanaian businesses to take initiatives to invest in the Turkish economy.
Mr. Erdogan urged the law makers to support and help deepen the cordial relationship between the two countries for the benefits of their citizens. He praised Ghana's democratic credentials, noting that "Ghana has a good democracy with rule of law and respect for human rights," and stated that Turkey was willing to support Ghana carry its "burden" through mutual cooperation for a prosperous future.
Touching on terrorism, President Erdogan, described the canker as a plague and a threat to the national security of every country and stressed the need for countries to come together and fight against it.
He acknowledged Turkey's experience in combating terrorism, and called on countries in West Africa to take a mutual stand, especially, with other countries in order to establish a global peace and stability in the fight against terrorism. He pledged his country's commitment to supporting any global action against terrorism.
The Speaker, Rt. Hon. Edward Doe Adjaho, commended the Turkish President on behalf of the House, adding that the House would give due consideration to the content of the message.
Source: All Africa