Story by Josephine Mugiyo, Diplomatic Correspondent
ZIMBABWE and Turkey have agreed to deepen trade relations, with the need to establish a joint economic commission taking center stage.
This comes after Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu concluded a two-day visit to Zimbabwe this Wednesday.
Turkey’s Foreign Minister, Mr Mevlut Cavusoglu who was in the country for a two-day visit met Acting President General Retired Dr Constantino Chiwenga at his Munhumutapa offices in Harare this Wednesday.
The closed-door meeting saw the two discuss various issues including expanding relations between Ankara and Harare.
The visiting Turkey official told the media after the closed-door session that the issue of increasing trade between the two countries was topical.
“Given the relations between the two countries, this was a belated visit. I am honored that I met with the acting President, we had a fruitful meeting. I also had a fruitful meeting with minister Shava. We renewed all aspects of our relations today. Our trade should be increased it’s at just US$35 million and it’s too little,” said the minister.
The minister also confirmed that several Turkish companies are keen to invest in Zimbabwe.
“We need to establish a joint economic commission. We need to conclude and sign MOUs. Some Turkish companies are keen to invest in Zimbabwe.”
Zimbabwe’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Ambassador Frederick Shava said Zimbabwe is forging ahead with pursuing economic diplomacy, describing the visit by the Turkish Minister as key for the country’s engagement and re-engagement efforts.
“The aim is to deepen economic cooperation for Zimbabwe. This is an era of economic diplomacy hence the minister was saying we have several Turkish companies interested in investing here,“ he said.
Turkey is currently exporting fertiliser and machinery to Zimbabwe, while tobacco is going in the opposite direction.
As he concluded his visit to Zimbabwe, the Turkey Foreign Minister spoke on the prospects of a visit between the two countries at the Presidential level.
Meanwhile, Minister Cavusoglu said his country will support Zimbabwe’s candidacy for a seat in United Nations Security Council.