By Ibrahim Halil Er
Turkish entrepreneurs in Chad say they are contributing to the country's economic growth and making a lot of profit at the same time as the Central African state offers them a wide range of opportunities.
In an interview with Anadolu Agency, the Turkish businessmen who work in the construction, food supply, and furniture sectors in Chad advised their fellow Turkish colleagues to come and invest in the country.
Yalcin Aksoy, one of the entrepreneurs, said he had settled in Chad after living for five years in Sudan.
"Chad has a wide range of opportunities for Turkish businessmen. Chadian people have great affection towards Turkish people, and our president also visited the country,” he said.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited Chad in late 2017.
The two countries signed a total of seven agreements to cooperate on development and technology, investment protection, mining, energy, diplomatic archives, and avoiding double taxation.
Aksoy noted that the agriculture, livestock, and construction sectors were particularly suitable for Turkish investors in Chad and recommended Turkish businesspeople to get preliminary information from potential partner companies before investing there.
Sahin Algul, a businessman from Mardin who is in the food sector, stressed that Chad was a country that demanded hard work and patience.
“Good profits are guaranteed but there are serious transport challenges since the country is landlocked," he said.
Ali Yurdagul, a businessman from Ankara who has been involved in the gold trade in Chad, said the gold industry was profitable in Chad. He said his company bought the gold directly from villagers and sold it in Dubai.
Yurdagul, whose business was also previously based in Sudan, later moved it to Chad.
His recommendation for Turkish entrepreneurs is that they must first come to Chad as visitors and live there for three months before doing anything.
''There is no need to rush in investing. They need to research the Chad market well. If the product they intend to bring is monopolized, they should not enter that sector,'' he warned.
For Yurdagul, bringing goods to Chad is the biggest challenge.
“Transportation costs are very high. I recommend investors to choose a sector apart from food,'' he added.
“There is a great need for craftsmen here. Craftsmanship here is profoundly profitable. There is no Turkish restaurant here. They would be successful in such ‘untouched’ areas,” Yurdagul concluded.
Cevdet Atli, another businessman, said Chad was an undiscovered land and it offered a lot to foreign investors. According to him, the competitive environment is also not that tough.
Chad presents opportunities for Turkish investors in construction, agriculture, food processing and storage, animal products processing, textiles, machinery and energy, according to Turkey’s Economy Ministry.
Chad is also home to rich gold, uranium, and oil reserves.