Turkish State Minister for foreign trade Zafer Caglayan, accompanied by a large group of businessmen, arrived Sunday in South Africa for trade talks.

Caglayan will hold talks in Johannesburg and Cape Town, and return to Turkey on November 6.

There is significant potential for Turkish contracting industry in South Africa as this country will host the 2010 World Cup, analysts said.

Turkey-South Africa foreign trade was 120 million USD in 2003, while it reached 1.3 billion USD in 2008.

Turkey's exports to South Africa were up 90 percent between 2003 and 2008, and reached 1.2 billion USD from 121.5 million.

Imports from South Africa to Turkey was only 335.7 million USD in 2003, whereas it rose to 1.5 billion USD in 2008.

Turkey is mostly importing gold from South Africa, which is also rich of diamond, coal, iron, manganese, nickel, phosphate, tin, uranium, copper, vanadium and salt.

Also, Turkey imports coal, automotive products, chromium and stainless steel from this country.

Turkey mainly exports automobiles, paper products, tractors and by-industry products to South Africa.

The amount of Turkish investments in South Africa has reached 60 million USD.

Standard Bank, one of the five biggest banks in South Africa, has an office in Istanbul.

AA