Friday, December 17, 2010

Turkey to buy oil from Nigeria, Ghana through barter scheme

Turkey will be purchasing oil from at least two African countries through a barter scheme arrangement, State Minster for foreign trade Zafer Çağlayan has announced following a four-day visit to three African countries.

Çağlayan, who had talks in Nigeria, Ghana and Equatorial Guinea during his visit to Africa, proposed a barter scheme to his Nigerian and Ghanaian counterparts.

Officials in these countries have said they would look positively on such a deal, where Turkey will purchase oil from both countries and pay for it by investing in tourism, energy, health and other infrastructure.

The government has plans to realize similar schemes in other countries in Africa.

Çağlayan's meeting with Ghanaian Vice President John Dramani Mahama marks the first official visit from Turkey at a ministerial level to this country in 10 years.

Çağlayan, speaking about his visit to Ghana along with a group of about 100 businessmen, said Mahama had praised Turkey due to its economic success at a time when most European countries are struggling amidst a crisis.

Mahama also said his government was closely monitoring the democratic and political developments in Turkey, expressing his government's desire to make Ghana a good example of a democratic country in Africa.

Mahama also said direct flights between the two countries would contribute significantly to relations, adding that joint projects by businessmen of the two countries would offer great opportunities. Mahama said during the visit: “We don't want Ghana to be an oil-dependant country in the future. We are using petroleum as a resource to invest in and develop other sectors. We have very beautiful beaches. We can make use of this.”

State Minister Çağlayan said Turkey wanted to contribute to the development of Ghana and support its commercial growth, noting that Turkish contractors were extremely interested in the construction sector.

The minister also attended the Ghana-Turkey Business Forum during his visit. In a speech he made there, Çağlayan said Turkey and Ghana had set their common trade volume goal at $1 billion. He also said the demand in Ghana for housing was about 1 million residential units, adding that Turkish businessmen want to enter this sector.

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