Turkey continues to be one of the best investment destinations in the world with great opportunities for foreign investors despite conflict on its borders, a Turkish diplomat has said in Johannesburg.

‘‘Turkey’s economy is strong and creates a suitable environment for foreign investors. We give many incentives to investors,’’ Hakan Karabalik, chief commercial counselor for the Turkish embassy in South Africa, told a business meeting in Johannesburg Monday.

Karabalik assured businesses wishing to invest or trade in Turkey that their investments would get sustained returns because the country continued to do well economically.

‘‘Last year, we broke the record by getting $14 billion in direct foreign investment,’’ he told the trade conference, which was also attended by Pakistani and Malaysian commercial counselors.

The conference was aimed at creating awareness on trade and investment opportunities for South African businesses wishing to invest or partner with businesses in Turkey, Malaysia or Pakistan.

Karabalik said the information and communications technology sector and the manufacturing of machinery are some of the areas that offer good returns to foreign investors in Turkey.

He also said that the Turkish business community has been invited to invest in South Africa where there are several opportunities in the mining, renewable energy and agriculture sector among others.

He said the major challenge Turkish investors faced in south Africa was the long period of time involved in negotiating investment incentives and processing of paper work.

In spite of the bottlenecks, South Africa hosts some of Turkey’s largest investments in sub-Saharan Africa. Some of these include coal mines and several manufacturing companies.

- Booming trade

Karabalik said bilateral trade between Turkey and sub-Saharan Africa stood at about $6 billion.

“$4 billion is our exports to sub-Saharan Africa and $2 billion is our imports from Sub-Saharan Africa,’’ he told the conference.

‘‘Turkish exports to South Africa are $450 million, and imports from South Africa amount to $750 million’’ he added.

He said South African exports to Turkey include gold, coal and other minerals, and also auto spare parts. Turkey’s exports to South Africa include textiles, iron and steel, spare parts and machinery.

Anadolu Agency