SEBNEM INCESU, Lusaka
The relations between Turkey and Zambia have made remarkable progress in recent years. Particularly, Turkey-Zambia trade volume increased considerably in the last 16 years, since Turkey launched the “African Strategy” in 2003. The trade volume was only US$351,000 in 2003 but went up to almost US$24 million in 2019, increasing more than six times. Mutual high-level visits played an important role on this. The constructive talks held during these visits prepared a clear working framework. These visits also necessitate an effective follow-up mechanism. One such mechanism is the Joint Economic Commission (JEC) established in accordance with the 2011 Agreement on Trade and Economic Cooperation.
During the visit of President Erdogan to Zambia on July 28, 2018, Turkey and Zambia agreed that the JEC should meet at the earliest possible time. Eventually, we are pleased to have met that requirement. The inaugural session of the JEC took place in Lusaka from February 12-13, 2020. Its significance is that, the JEC did not only convene for the first time, but also provided for the first ministerial visit from Turkey to Zambia.
Turkey’s Minister of Family, Labour and Social Services Zehra Zümrüt Selçuk paid a visit to Zambia as the co-chair of the JEC. The co-chair of the JEC on the Zambian side is Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Malanji.
On this occasion, the delegations of senior officials reviewed the overall economic and commercial relations between the two countries and reaffirmed their desire towards the development of these relations. The fruitful deliberations culminated with the signing of the Agreed Minutes by the ministers.
Agreed Minutes serve as a road map across a wide range of areas, namely trade and industry, financial matters, science, technology, research and development, education, health, agriculture, forestry, transport and communications; energy and mining; culture and tourism; family, gender, labour and social services; youth and sports; development cooperation and CLICK TO READ MORE