Turkey eyes fertilizer business in Kenya

August 22, 2008
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, NAIROBI, August 22 – A Turkish manufacturing company is planning to visit Kenya to conduct a feasibility study on the viability of setting up a fertilizer manufacturing plant.

This follows discussions held on Friday between Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, and a leading Turkish industrialist, Ahmet Calik

“We will be setting up our regional offices in Nairobi soon, to run our activities in East and Central Africa”, said Calik.

The Vice President said: “Our priority is infrastructure but we also need fertilizer manufacturing and textile investment.”

The industrialist who runs multi-billion dollar operations in 18 countries, employing over 20,000 workers in Oil refineries, oil pipelines, mining, banking, construction, media, textile and leather products manufacturing has agreed to invest in Kenya.

“No country can modernize its agriculture and make it profitable without manufacturing its own fertilizer. The cost of importing fertilizer is simply prohibitive,” said Calik.

He proposed the immediate establishment of a Kenya – Turkey Business Council and said they have joint business councils with over 50 countries across the world.

“In my opinion, Kenya is becoming an important investment destination and we therefore need to set up a joint business forum,” suggested Calik

His holding company has operations in Sudan, Egypt, Japan, China, Italy, Switzerland, Norway, Argentina and Brazil among other countries and it is currently investing in an oil Pipeline, which will transport crude oil for China and Japanese Markets across Turkey and Asia, instead of the tankers, which are seen as an environmental hazard in Turkey.

Calik also has interests in media with a circulation of 1.2 million copies of newspapers per day, four TV stations, 30 magazines and ten radio stations.

The Vice President told the Turkish business mogul that the Kenya cotton industry has largely collapsed owing to poor prices and urged him to move some of his textile manufacturing operations to Nairobi to help encourage Kenyans to grow more cotton.

Turkey’s revenue from Textiles is worth close to an equivalent of Sh1.4 billion per year.

The Vice President, who concluded his tour of Turkey on Friday, also met the Finance Minister of Seychelles, Panny Fairs, who called for more business interaction between his country and Kenya.

“We are currently importing beef and fruits from as far away as Australia and Brazil, yet we could get these products from Kenya, since we are both members of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa,” said Faure.

He said he will soon lead a delegation to Kenya to negotiate a recognition agreement with Kenya on commerce and trade.

The VP said Kenya was keen to export more skilled manpower to other countries adding that the country’s vision is to turn Nairobi into the regional financial, commercial, aviation, communication and education hub.

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