Ghana’s exports to Turkey have increased from $168 million in 2015 to $180.4 million in 2016.
The Turkish Ambassador to Ghana, Nesrin Bayazit, revealed this at a meeting in Kumasi with the Ghanaian business community.
Turkey is ninth on the list of countries Ghana imports diverse products to whiles Ghana, on the other hand, is the twentieth on the list of countries Turkey exports to.
Though the numbers look impressive, Ghanaian businesses operators are being encouraged to increase exports to Turkey.
Ms Bayazit, says there are opportunities to enhance sustainable bilateral trade relations.
At the meeting with the business community in Kumasi, the Turkish envoy says increased trade is the vehicle for strengthened relations.
“If you look at our economic relations, we have ups and downs, in the last three years, it has been difficult. Last year, [total imports and exports] reached 480 million dollars, so to have a sustainable trade we want to encourage Ghana to export more, and this is your job you must promote Ghana better in Turkey and We will like to help you in that way,” she said.
Nesrin Bayazit revealed Turkey exported 298.5 million US Dollars worth of goods to Ghana in 2016.
She particularly wants improved investment in construction and agriculture by Ghanaian businesses in the Ashanti Region which is the destination for the chunk Turkish exports.
“I understand that a lot of exports from Turkey come here into this region, so there is a great potential. I understand that this region needs a lot of infrastructure and affordable housing.I am glad to emphasise that his Royal Highness [Otumfuo Osei Tutu II] said land is not a problem so it is good, we have the best construction companies to collaborate,” she said.
According to her, agriculture is one area Turkey wants to see its companies get involved in.
“Turkey is a country with vast experience in agriculture, and we have modern facilities in agriculture and so we hope that we can put the strength of both countries and bring our companies together,” she adds.
Some of the business owners complained about language as a barrier to doing trade with their Turkish counterparts.
President of the Ashanti-Turkish Traders and Culture Association, Anto Godwin, says a school should be established to teach the Turkish language to facilitate the trade.
Business Development Consultant for Ashanti-Turkey Trade and Culture, Musah Amin, believes more engagement will also bring to the fore better funding opportunities for local businesses.
“Financing is one major challenge facing local businesses, so we want to go beyond Ghanaian borders to find out if there are some EXIM banks, be it in Turkey or wherever, that have certain products modelled or tailored to meet the need of small and medium scale businesses,” Mr Amin said.