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Sierra Leone's Ambassador to Turkey, His Excellency Mohamed Hassan Kaisamba has made a call to businesses to invest in Sierra Leone stating that reforms in the business sector allow for more businesses to thrive. The Ambassador made this call during this year's Fifth World Interpectoral-Industry Forum held from the 14th-18th September 2021 in Istanbul, Turkey which saw the attendance of 42 countries.

H.E. Ambasador Mohamed Hassan Kaisamba (R) with participants at the forum

This year's forum was organized by the Bosphorus Expo which was meant to bring together business people from different parts of the world and give an opportunity to African citizens to be agents of Turkish manufacturers in their country as well as meeting with companies in many different industries such as construction, mining, textile, food, agriculture, machinery, automotive, FMCG, general trade goods, and services.

Delivering his statement on behalf of the Government of Sierra Leone, H.E Ambassador Mohamed Hassan Kaisamba said the  Sierra Leone Turkish relations is on the high stating that the establishment of the Sierra Leone Embassy in Turkey and the same in Freetown, has further strengthened diplomatic and trade relations between the two countries.

"The trade volumes between the two nations are on the increase. For instance, the 2017 bilateral trade volume of 51.5 million USD rose to 55.3 million USD in 2018. Bilateral trade volume was recorded as 53.4 million USD in 2019. Primary goods exported from Turkey are flour, sugar, iron and steel products, cement, various food products, cable, plastic wrap. Turkish imports mainly consist of hulk, titanium, and leather products" the Ambassador mentioned. He admonished that Sierra Leone has many Turkish interest companies doing business in Sierra Leone as Government has in recent times prioritized Turkish entities for contracts in Infrastructure and other areas.

H.E. Ambasador Mohamed Hassan Kaisamba (C) with representatives from other countries

"As a Government, Sierra Leone is liberalizing its business environment. There are new Government reforms that are constantly making it easier to do business in Sierra Leone. The President of Sierra Leone in his recent visit to Turkey spoke about the need to strengthen the Sierra Leone Business and Diplomatic relations. I call upon Turkish businesses to take advantage of the great business improvements going on in Sierra Leone" he averred.

In his speech at the opening of the forum, Deputy Minister of Industry and Technology Hasan Büyükdede stated that there have been frequent meetings with African statement and businessmen in Turkey recently: “We see an increase in reciprocal visits between Turkey and Africa. We can easily observe the reflections of this on commercial and economic relations. Our President visits Africa frequently and hosts Heads of States and their teams in our country. Despite the ongoing effects of the pandemic, Turkey hosted many Africans, statesmen, and businessmen in recent weeks. We believe that this forum is one of the important links of this chain."

Minister Büyükdede noted that the Turkey-Africa friendship will be talked about a lot in the coming years. "Africa is a fundamental and priority issue of Turkish Foreign Policy and it will continue to be so. It seems that this century will be the century of Africa. Turkey attaches great importance to Africa.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Yavuz Selim Kıran also attended the forum with a video message. In his message, Kıran stated that Africa constitutes one of the main priorities of Turkey's Foreign Policy and said, "With its population of more than 1 billion and its diverse cultural richness, the African continent is undoubtedly the rising value of the 21st century. The high economic performance of African countries reflects the changing international balances in the best way possible.” He averred. The Turkish Deputy Minister of Industry and Technology, Hassan Buyukdedde who attended the forum said this century will be the African century because  Africa has realized its export of five hundred billion ( 500) dollars.

Davut Altunbaş, President of the Independent Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (MUSIAD), drew attention to the importance that Turkish industrialists attach to cooperation together with the African business world, and pointed out that Turkish Airlines' flights to different regions in Africa.

In his speech, Altuntas explained that the Turkish industrialists put great tests in the early 2000s and continued his words as follows:

"The biggest change for us in this period was the enormous support given to our industry by our President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. As a result of these supports, our industrialists and exports have currently grown by 35 percent in the last seven (7) months and by twenty-one (21) percent in the last Twelve (12) months.

"Utku Bengisu, Founder of Bosphorus EXPO and African Trade Centers, stated that "Expanding the base and improving our international trade are the two words that make up the main motto of the World Intersectoral Cooperation Forum. To double Turkey's share in world trade and to achieve the mega export target of five hundred (500) billion dollars. We need to realize this.

The Focal Person for Sierra Leone and Liberia at the World Cooperation Industries Forum, Ishmael Mansaray in his presentation said their drive was to help eliminate home-grown businesses negativity and expand into the Turkish market. "Most home-grown businesses in Sierra Leone are primitive doing international business that’s why the foreigners have so many advantages over the citizens of Sierra Leone.

This platform is meant to create and help Sierra Leoneans have a direct connection with leading manufacturers from diverse industries so that we can have a competitive market and also encourage economic integration for both countries.


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Hawa Georgette Tucker

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