Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Ambassador Frederick Shava, has said Zimbabwe is keen to deepen and broaden bilateral co-operation with Türkiye for the economic benefit of both nation.
In the past, Türkiye has been increasing its co-operation with African countries having established diplomatic presence in 44 countries, 66 destinations being serviced by Turkish Airlines, trade amounting to US$40 billion, and contracts implemented by Turkish companies valued at US$85 billion.
In his address at the Türkiye National Day celebrations in Harare yesterday, Ambassador Shava said Harare was cognisant of Istanbul’s potential in aiding Zimbabwe’s development agenda.
Consequently, Ambassador Shava said there was a need to establish co-operation in various fields including agriculture, manufacturing, energy and trade, among others.
Zimbabwe recently participated at the Fourth Türkiye-Africa Business and Economic Forum held in Istanbul, which culminated in fruitful deliberations between the two countries.
He said it had been encouraging to note that Turkish businesses had expressed interest in doing business with Zimbabwe.
“Zimbabwe fully realises the value of having Türkiye as a partner and I note, with satisfaction, the very cordial relations that exist between our two countries.
“There is, indeed, potential for co-operation in sectors that include the Agribusiness, Textiles, Energy and Infrastructural Development and we wish to benefit from your country’s expertise.
“On the trade front, whilst volumes have been steadily peaking up, it is our desire that trade and commercial exchanges increase threefold from the current volumes.
“Furthermore, I am informed that Turkish companies have expressed willingness to do business in Zimbabwe.
“I therefore call on the two sides to carry forward the momentum created by the Business and Economic Forum to work towards broadening trade and commercial exchange’s for the mutual benefit of our two countries and peoples. I also call on the two sides to expeditiously finalise all outstanding issues in order to facilitate unhindered co-operation,” he said.
Ambassador Shava said the support rendered by Türkiye through according Zimbabwean students scholarships was “appreciated”.
“In addition, Zimbabwe also appreciates the technical support that the Government of Türkiye is rendering through the provision of scholarships in various fields.
“This support is significantly contributing to human resources capacity building and bringing the countries closer together,” he said.
Zimbabwe, said Ambassador Shava, had been greatly impressed by how Türkiye had demonstrated utmost resilience during the aftermath of the earthquake that killed more than 50 000 civilians.
“Türkiye commemorates 100 years as a Republic in a year in which the country went through the trauma of a devastating earthquake that struck the country on 6 February 2023 and took away the lives of more than 50 000 people.
“At the same time, we would like to commend the people of Türkiye for their resilience and determination and for rising from that devastation to rebuild their country. 2023 is also a year in which the people of Türkiye renewed their confidence in President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
“We are confident that under his astute leadership, Türkiye will enter another century of growth and prosperity,” he said.
Türkiye’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mrs Berna Kasnakli Versteden, said her country was grateful for the support given by Zimbabwe during the difficult earthquake period.
She said Türkiye was committed to increasing co-operation with Zimbabwe in all areas.
“Therefore, we want to work together with Zimbabwe and other African countries in partnerships that are based on equality.