Turkiye-Zim strengthens bilateral relations

Turkiye-Zim strengthens bilateral relations
December 09 11:00 2022
By Amanda Ellen Nicola Jojo

Turkiye recently celebrated forty years of diplomatic relations with Zimbabwe emphasizing that all the necessary conditions have been created for expanding and deepening productive cooperation between the two countries.

In an interview with The Diplomat, Turkish Ambassador to Zimbabwe Her Excellency Berna Kasnakli Versteden said the two countries are on a drive to take mutually beneficial steps towards strengthening relations and boosting trade.

“Currently the trade figures between Turkiye and Zimbabwe stand at US$30 million.

“In order to boost trade, there are great opportunities to expand the product base in horticulture, I know Zimbabwe is an exporter of flowers for example, all kinds of nuts. Basically, Zimbabwe has got rich agricultural prospects,” Ambassador Versteden said.

She said other trade opportunities lies in minerals and metals. With Zimbabwe having the largest lithium reserves in Africa and the fifth-largest deposits worldwide, Ambassador Versteden said the two countries can beneficially exploit this. Turkiye is set to roll out its first electric car next year.

“The electric car, will be on the road in 2023. So, as you know Lithium is necessary for the batteries of electric cars,” Ambassador Versteden said.

Turkiye has been supporting the Government of Zimbabwe in various sectors which include among other things, climate smart agriculture, provision of safe water, education as well as health sectors.

The country also awards full scholarships to African students covering travel, accommodation as well as tuition.

“We are very happy that Zimbabweans are interested in these scholarships and we are surely going to continue with this,” Ambassador Versteden said.

Commenting on gender equality, Ambassador Versteden said, “Women empowerment is a global phenomenon, it doesn’t make sense to ignore more than half of the population when it comes to opportunities.”

Ambassador Versteden is Turkiye’s first female ambassador to Zimbabwe.

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