Turkey and South Africa are due to sign a defence industry cooperation agreement in a few months’ time, which will enable the two countries to cooperate, extensively on security and defence matters. The agreement came about after a two-day visit to Turkey by the deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe, and the Minister of Defence,
Lindiwe Sisulu. It is hoped the agreement will make it easier for Turkish companies to participate in defence and security programs in South Africa, and vice versa. The cooperation agreement will be signed at the Africa Aerospace and Defence Expo which will be held in South Africa in September.
In the past South Africa has put in bids for a number of Turkish defence projects, and a South African company is currently shortlisted for a de-mining contract. These types of contracts emphasise the need to increase participation between the two countries. Another highlight of the visit was a signing of an agreement between the two countries to enhance cooperation in the fields of defence, economics, politics, trade, security, agriculture, energy, minerals, tourism, education, and the environment.
This agreement was established the South Africa-Turkey Bi-National Commission which will meet every two years, and will be chaired by the Turkish prime minister and the deputy president of South Africa. Bilateral trade between the two countries has been increasing steadily, and South Africa exports a number of products including mineral products, machinery and mechanical appliances, chemical products, organic chemicals, and the base metals. Turkey is estimated to have around $60 million worth of foreign direct investment in South Africa.