Turkey is taking extensive steps to develop and strengthen trade and business ties with Egypt. A recent business mission visited Cairo for the Turkey-Egypt Business Forum, and was headed by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The mission included nine Cabinet ministers and three hundred and fifty business people.
The Turkish government is keen to strengthen ties; it has a lot of belief in Egypt’s future, as the Egyptian population is young and well-educated and has huge potential. In the last 10 years Turkey‘s trade volume with Middle Eastern and North African countries has increased from less than $5 billion annually to $45 billion.
It’s anticipated that trade with Egypt will reach $5 billion by the end of 2012, but the Turkish Prime Minister is keen to see this figure increase. He is hopeful it could reach as high as $10 billion within the next few years. In addition he is keen to see Ankara and Alexander, and Istanbul and Cairo become sister cities.
The Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Quandil is hopeful that more Turkish businessmen will invest in his country, helping it to recover from its recent problems. The existing free trade deal signed in 2005 is soon to include agricultural products. At the moment around 200 Turkish businesspeople have Egyptian investments worth $1.5 billion, and these people chose not to withdraw these investments during Egypt’s recent troubled times. In fact some chose to increase investments afterwards. Both Egypt and Turkey have had strong relations for centuries, and are bound by numerous historical and religious ties.