Turkey aims to nearly double its bilateral trade volume with Africa from last year's $25.3 billion to $50 billion, and later raise this even further to $75 billion, the country's president said on Friday.
"Sincere ties" between Turkey and African countries will grow stronger, Recep Tayyip Erdogan stressed at the third edition of the Turkey-Africa Economic and Business Forum.
The two-day forum, which covers topics including partnership between the two sides, as well as collaboration in agriculture, pandemic measures, and innovation, began on Thursday in the Turkish metropolis Istanbul.
Erdogan recalled that Turkey's investments on the continent have exceeded $6 billion so far and that Turkish contractors have assumed more than 1,150 projects, such as bridges and roads, worth over $70 billion in Africa.
Criticizing economically developed countries and particularly the West's attitude towards Africa during the coronavirus pandemic, Erdogan said: "African peoples have been left alone in the face of the health crisis."
"Rising customs barriers and protectionist measures have hurt the fragile economies of African countries the most," he underlined.
Meanwhile, 44 of the countries that received Turkish donations of medical supplies and devices were in Africa, noted President Erdogan.
"We don't think it's right to take an approach to the vaccine issue that is purely based on financial interests and profit, while the pain we're experiencing is clear."