NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 22 – Kenya has steadily grown as a business partner with Turkey, with trade increasing from Sh1.2 billion to Sh19.8 billion in the last six years.
Turkish ambassador to Kenya Tuncer Kayalar said on Tuesday that although trade between the two countries decreased in 2009 due to the global economic crisis, joint ventures and investments have rapidly increased since 2004.
“When we compare the first four months of 2009 and 2010; we see a very steep increase again. In 2009 our trade was around Sh1.4 billion, that has increased to Sh3.8 billion in 2010,” he said.
Mr Kayalar said Turkish investors were eyeing Kenya as they believe that it is the hub of the East African region.
“Kenya is a huge market itself. It is also a member of the East African Community, that is a population of 130 million citizens. Once we have our investors here they will actually be exporting to a market of 500 million people. We are urging our business communities to closely interact to establish joint ventures,” he said.
The envoy added that negotiations were ongoing with various branches of government about Turkish investments in Energy, Oil factories, Vanilla agriculture and Livestock industries in Kenya.
Bulent Erten, CEO of the Turkel Organisation (the organisers of the second East African Turkish Trade Fair) said: “The event comes at a time when the Kenyan government is keen on investment opportunities as well as working towards improving its economic development. Our long-term objective is to ensure strategic reciprocal relations, improve trade and economic co-operation mechanism, and enhance long-term business partnerships between the two countries.”
They spoke at the launch of the East African Turkish Trade Fair that starts on Wednesday at the KICC.
The fair will exhibit Turkish textiles, building and construction, medical, automotive and other products.
Turkey is ranked among the top 20 traders in the world with a trade volume of approximately Sh16.2 trillion.