Relations between Turkey and Zambia

Zambia declared its independence on 24 October 1964. Turkish Government accredited its Embassy in Nairobi (opened on 30 March 1968) to Zambia. From 1994 to 2011, Turkish Embassy in Pretoria became accredited to Zambia. Turkey-Zambia relations gained momentum following the opening of the Turkish Embassy in Lusaka in 2011 and the Zambian Embassy in Ankara in 2013. Turkish Embassy in Lusaka is accredited to Malawi and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) based in Lusaka.

H.E. Edgar Chagwa Lungu, the President of the Republic of Zambia visited Turkey on 8-10 July 2018 to attend the inauguration ceremony of H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the President of the Republic of Turkey. Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Zambia Joseph Malanji visited Turkey on 4-10 July 2018 for the preparations of President’s visit and accompanied him during this visit.

Visits from Turkey to Zambia at Presidential and Ministerial levels were not realized until 2018.

On 28 July 2018, H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the President of the Republic of Turkey paid an official visit to Zambia. This visit constituted the first Presidential level visit from Turkey. In the margins of the visit, the Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey with the participation of Turkish and Zambian business people and representatives of the related institutions organized a roundtable meeting. The Ministers of Trade chaired this meeting.

The Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Turkey and Zambia held the second round of the Political Consultations on 10 September 2018 in Ankara.

The two countries are working closely at the technical level to improve their cooperation in the fields such as agriculture, tourism, health, infrastructure/housing. Turkey contributes to Zambia’s development agenda in terms of capacity and institutional building in pursuant to the country’s 7th National Development Plan (2017-2021).

The trade volume between Turkey and Zambia in 2019 was at the level of 23,7 million USD. Turkey’s export to Zambia was worth 17,8 million USD, whereas its import from Zambia was worth 5,9 million USD. While Turkey was a net importer from 2002 to 2011, it has become a net exporter in 2012-2016.

The main commodities imported by the Turkish companies from Zambia are copper and copper products. As around 75% of our import is dependent on copper ore, global fluctuations in the price of copper play a decisive role on our net bilateral trade. Based on the copper ore, our import commodities include cobalt mats and other intermediates, untreated cobalt powders, refined copper-cathodes and cathode fractions, refined copper wire and ferro-manganese.

The main export commodities of the Turkish companies to Zambia are machinery and appliances, tools and their parts, iron and steel goods, electrical machinery and appliances and their spare parts. On the other hand, textile products (carpet, clothes etc.), furniture, confectionery, food products containing chocolate and cocoa are other export items.

The Agreement on Trade and Economic Cooperation signed on 15 December 2011 establishes the Joint Economic Commission (JEC). (First JEC meeting was organized on 12-13 February 2020 in Lusaka.) Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey and Zambia Development Agency agreed on the formation of the Turkish-Zambia Business Council with the Memorandum of Understanding they signed in 2016. The Council had its first meeting on 20 June 2018 in Lusaka. On this occasion, the Turkish firms visiting Zambia hosted the first B2B meeting as well.

Through Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA), Turkey is providing development assistance to Zambia in various domains.

Since 14 December 2018 Turkish Airlines has been operating between Istanbul and Lusaka.

Since 1992, government of Turkey grants scholarships to the Zambian students.