NIGERIA – The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo, has said that the Nigeria- Turkey business forum would strengthen bilateral cooperation between the two countries.

He said the business forum had underscored the close political and economic cooperation between the two countries.

The minister said since 1957, when the trade relationship started, the level of improvement had been significant.

The Turkish Ministry for Foreign affairs for instance notes that, in 2018, bilateral trade volume between Turkey and Nigeria was US$489,73 million.

Turkish Airlines, the nation’s carrier also has 7 direct flights per week to Lagos and Abuja. Flights to Port-Harcourt also launched in mid-2019 are also doing exceptionally well.

The airline according to the foreign ministry also has cargo flights to Lagos and Kano 3 times per week.

Adebayo said the exchange of visits by the presidents of the two countries had further deepened the cooperation of both countries.

The first presidential visit by Turkey to Nigeria was in 2010 when former Turkish President H.E. Abdullah Gül participated in D-8 Summit and paid an official bilateral visit to Nigeria in July 2010.

Since then, several presidential visits have been done by both countries. President Erdoğan paid an official visit to Nigeria on 1-3 March 2016 while his counterpart President H.E. Muhammadu Buhari paid an official visit to Turkey on October 19, 2017.

Adebayo further said there were immense opportunities to explore in the areas of agriculture, mining, oil and gas, textile, manufacturing, Small and Medium Enterprises, and special economic zones among others.

 Also, the Minister of Trade, Turkey, Ruhsar Pekcan, who led the Turkish business delegation to Nigeria, said that there were several Turkish companies doing business in Nigeria and more Turkish investors willing to invest in different sectors of the economy.

She said that the Turkish government would improve bilateral trade relations between the two countries as well as deepen economic ties.

Both countries are members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the Developing Eight (D-8) and they maintain close cooperation in international organizations.