Turkish businesspeople should move further into the African market, according to the ambassador to Ankara of the Horn of Africa nation of Djibouti.
"The opportunities are really huge. I think it is time for Turkey to move ahead, to get out from Turkey, to invest, to get closer to the market because now the competition is how to get close to the market," Aden Houssein Abdillahi told Anadolu Agency late Wednesday on the sidelines of the Turkey-Africa Economic Forum in the central Turkish province of Konya.
The two-day forum, which hosted more than 150 businesspeople and 33 ambassadors from African countries, discussed Turkey's investment opportunities in Africa.
Abdillahi said the African market grew in less than 10 years and is "big".
"Now it is going to be difficult to be here and just to sell from Turkey to the outside," he said, citing China as an example.
"They are getting closer to the market. They are building special economic zones and free zones in Africa and they are bringing the industries there. They are investing in the continent," he added.
Abdillahi said China knows "very well" that selling from the country is not going to work.
The ambassador called on Turkish businesspeople to get closer to the African market and invest there.
"We paved the way for that. When I say 'paved the way', it means that we built roads, railways, highways. So we have huge potential and agricultural, water resources. So why not move ahead?
"We want to build really strong bonds with Turkey," Abdillahi said.