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Gabon-Turkey: Commercial and Economic Co-operation in Full Growth

The volume of exchanges between Gabon and Turkey jumped from USD 22 million in 2004 to USD 58 million in 2014, according to official sources.

A Clear Growth of Commercial Exchanges

There is a sharp increase of economic and commercial relations between Gabon and Turkey. In ten years, the volume of exchanges between Libreville and Ankara almost tripled, reaching USD 58 million in 2014, from USD 22 million in 2004, say governmental sources (Gabon). ‘Turkey wants to bring the level of its commercial exchanges with Gabon to USD 100 thousand million,’ says a source close to the Turkish Embassy in Libreville.

Numerous Co-operation Agreements

In 2013, both countries signed in Libreville two co-operation agreements. The first one aimed at exempting diplomatic passport holders from the obligation of obtaining a visa. The second one was related to the reinforcement of co-operation between the two countries in the field of health science and medicine.

In 2015, Gabon and Turkey signed four new agreements in Ankara, about visa exemptions for service, diplomatic and special passport holders, and about co-operation in culture, technology, energy and health care. ‘We recognize the importance of your support for African people and nations, and for that, we are grateful. We know how much the support and friendship from foreign countries, notably from Turkey, is special in those difficult times,’ declared the President of Gabon at the agreements signature ceremony.

A Win-Win Partnership

‘We have projects in connection with our co-operation ties in the military sector, with regards to the training of Gabonese agents and we wish to increase the volume of trade with Gabon through a win-win partnership. We must also create an exchange platform for business people of the two countries. Turkish products are of good quality and cheaper. We need to promote trade between our two nations. Gabon is a country we are interested in,’ said Güzel Uçar, Secretary at the Embassy of Turkey in Gabon.

Turkish Companies Active in Gabon

Several Turkish companies are present in Gabon. They are working in the sector of infrastructure construction, on roadwork and social housing, among other things. The Turkish enterprise Enka participated in the building of the Omar Bongo Ondimba mausoleum, in Franceville (South-East) and in the development of social housing in Angondjé, North of Libreville. To encourage exchanges between Gabon and Turkey, a flight connection Libreville-Ankara is open since 2012, offering five flights per week. Turkey is also committed in Gabon in the charity sector via the Turkish Co-operation and Coordination Agency. In 2015, the Agency was involved in the installation of village water systems, in the Moyen-Ogooué, as well as in the electrification of two communities in the South of Gabon. The Turkish organization also donated machinery for the transformation of cassava to peasant women in Malinga (South), and computer equipment to an orphanage in Libreville.

According to sources close to the Embassy of Turkey in Libreville, Turkish authorities also support the government of Gabon in the field of training and education. Ankara grants scholarships to around 20 Gabonese students every year.

26 Billion in Exports

Exports from Gabon to Turkey have grown by XOF 26 billion over the past few years, according to sources close to the Gabonese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Gabon and Turkey are working together to intensify and diversify their areas of co-operation, says the same source.

Economic relations between the two countries really started in 2000, with the signature, in Libreville, of a general commercial, economic, cultural and technical co-operation agreement.


By Pierre Eric Mbog Batassi

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