Concept Note

“Investing for a sustainable future: Turkey and ECOWAS Member States to deepen bilateral trade and investment relations”

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Historically, the Ottoman Empire had a foothold in Africa. Since 2002, Turkey began to be active on the continent with a new opening policy for Africa as well as the declaration of 2005 as the year of Africa. In 2011, the African Economic Outlook (AEO) declared Turkey one of the most important partners of the continent.

Turkey’s decade-long economic boom has been accompanied by a renewed interest in Africa and the trade volume with African Continent has been tripled to 16,7 billion USD in 2016 compared to 5,4 billion USD in 2003.

Turkey’s approach towards Africa, “win-win policy" has culminated in this burgeoning relation between Turkey and Africa. This policy focuses on political equality and mutual economic development rather than creating new relations of dependence, tutelage and exploitation.

In line with this foreign policy, DEiK/Turkey-Africa Business Councils, already operating in 42 African countries, aims to improve Turkey’s commercial and investment relations with African countries and increase the share of Turkish companies in the African market. The Business Councils focus on the activities to improve the already strong economic relations in cooperation with its counterpart organizations.

Within this regard, Turkey-ECOWAS Economic and Business Forum will be organized by Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey (DEIK) under the main theme of “Deepening Economic Partnership between Turkey and ECOWAS Members” on 22-23 February 2018 in Istanbul, Turkey. The Forum hosted by Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Turkey will be held in cooperation with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission.

The event is expected to gather Ministers of Trade/Economy from ECOWAS countries, Chairpersons of the Chambers of Industry and Trade and Business Associations as well as members of the Turkish and African business circles from 15 countries in West Africa representatives of the media from Turkey and Africa are invited. For your perusal, please find attached herewith a draft program of the Forum. The 2 day-program will be enriched with inaugural ceremony, Ministerial meeting, G2B meetings (country project presentations) along with B2B meetings and gala dinner.

Previously, Turkey-Africa Economic and Business Forum was jointly organized by Turkish Ministry of Economy, African Union Commission (AUC) and DEIK. The Forum, held under the auspices of President of the Republic of Turkey H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, brought together 50 top ranking officials from 42 African countries along with 2.500 business people from Turkey and 49 African countries on 2-3 November 2016 in Istanbul.

Furthermore, Turkey-Africa 1st Agriculture Ministers Meeting and Agribusiness Forum” on 27-28 April 2017 in Antalya This Forum, which was another step in a continuum of events successfully co-organized by DEIK and AUC, brought together 48 Agriculture Ministers from 54 African countries, 46 representatives of international organizations, 184 bureaucrats and about 1.500 Turkish and African business persons.

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Within the program of the Forum, there will be two main sessions following the Opening Ceremony:

- A Thematic Session about “Deepening Economic Partnership between Turkey and ECOWAS Members” allowing the policymakers of ECOWAS Member States Africa will share their thoughts.

Considering the common interest in promoting trade and economic cooperation on the basis of mutual advantage; the importance of market economy and private sector driven initiatives as a source of regional prosperity, and re-affirming the goal of promoting business relations among their nationals and other activities capable of expanding trade and investment relations between their respective private sectors would be emphasized.

Furthermore, recognizing both the benefits to the countries derived from international trade and investment, how to eliminate any obstacles to such trade and investment that would deprive the countries of these benefits and non-tariff barriers to trade in order to facilitate greater access to the markets would be discussed.

Establishing the ECOWAS-Turkey Joint Commission on Trade and Investment would be also main discussion point for the cooperation between the member states of the ECOWAS Member States and the Republic of Turkey to:

a) develop trade in goods and services on equal footing;
b) promote the adoption of appropriate measures when necessary;
c) enable business friendly environment for long-term investment, development and diversification of trade.

- A Plenary Session in which designated businessmen to tell their success stories in ECOWAS Region and about partnerships as well as discussion on financial tools for trading in ECOWAS Region by the representatives of EcoBank and Türk Eximbank.

Then, B2B and Networking meetings will be organized to explore specific projects and allow for informal discussion among business communities of Turkey and Africa besides G2B meetings where the participant countries will present their major projects in different areas.




G2B Meetings





30 Speakers

Congress Speakers

H.E. Nihat Zeybekci

H.E. Nihat Zeybekci

Minister of Economy of the Republic of Turkey
H.E. Marcel A. De Souza

H.E. Marcel A. De Souza

President of the ECOWAS Commission
H.E. Mr. Kalilou Traore

H.E. Mr. Kalilou Traore

ECOWAS Commissioner for Industry and Private Sector
Mr. Nail Olpak

Mr. Nail Olpak

President of Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey (DEIK)


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