South Africa’s ambassador to Turkey has used an Istanbul meeting to call for improved economic ties between Ankara and the African country.

“We consider South Africa as a door which opens the African continent. A possible free-trade agreement between the two countries would pave the way to transmit Turkish products to 700 million consumers in Africa,” said Vika Mazwi Khumalo on Monday.

Also speaking at Monday’s economic meeting was Dagistan Turanli from Turkey’s Foreign Economic Relations Board.

“Trading volume between Turkey and South Africa was $1.6 billion last year and we believe we can improve on it in the future,” he said.

South Africa alone accounts for 40 percent of total industrial production of the African continent and 25 percent of total GDP, according to Foreign Economic Relations Board figures.

Turkish companies have invested $46.4 billion in projects in Africa so far, coming behind Russia and the Middle Eastern countries, according to Turanli.

“When we consider the projects undertaken by Turkish companies, we are in full commitment to work for more important projects in the region,” he added.

Anadolu Agency