Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said Turkey placed special importance to relations with South Africa as “the most developed economy and democracy of the continent.”
Speaking to reporters before his departure for South Africa, Erdogan said he was set to visit the country on an invitation extended by South African Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, adding that a large delegation of Turkish bureaucrats and businesspeople would accompany him on his visit which he said would last through next Thursday.
“We will pen some very important agreements with South Africa that would strengthen the foundations of our relations,” Erdogan said.
Erdogan said Turkey’s exports to South Africa had seen a remarkable improvement over the past few years, reaching one billion USD in the first seven months of 2011, adding in 2010 the figure was 1.2 billion USD.
The Turkish premier also said that Turkish investments in South Africa had reached 400 million USD.
Erdogan has departed from Istanbul on Monday and is on his way to the Republic of South Africa on an official trip.
Erdogan’s wife Mrs. Emine Erdogan, his daughter Sumeyye Erdogan, Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan and Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yildiz are accompanying Erdogan in the South African trip.
A group of 205 people, including several deputies, bureaucrats, businesspeople and journalists have also departed for South Africa in Erdogan’s jet.
03 October 2011 Monday