Turkish State Minister Zafer Caglayan said on Monday that Turkey was eager to boost trade and cooperation with South African Republic.


"Turkey wants to sign free trade agreement with the South African Republic soon," Caglayan said while addressing opening of Turkey-South Africa Business Forum meeting.

Referring to the rise in South Africa's share in Turkey's total exports, Caglayan said, "this rise shows Turkey's determination to make business with Africa".

Caglayan said Turkey was the 6th biggest economy of Europe and the 17th biggest economy of the world, indicating that industry goods formed 90 percent of exports.

"Turkey's exports to South Africa is 1.2 billion USD. However, we should diversify our exports. Global crisis has a negative impact on exports and world trade. Boosting trade is the only way to get rid of the crisis. Turkey is eager to work together with South African Republic for joint ventures in other African countries. Turkish exporters face unfair competition when compared with the EU companies as free trade agreement is not signed. Let us sign free trade agreement, our bilateral trade and investments will rise," Caglayan said.

South African Republic's Deputy Minister of Economic Development Gwen Mahlangu Nkabinde said important steps have been taken since 2004 in his country to boost economy, deal with poverty, privatization and restoring of democracy.

Indicating that there were important implementations in his country to encourage investors, the South African minister invited Turkish businessmen to make investments.