NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 2 – Kenya and Turkey have set an ambitious target to grow their bilateral trade volume to the one billion dollar (Sh100 billion) mark within the next five years.
This was one of the outcomes of a bilateral meeting between President Uhuru Kenyatta and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey at State House, Nairobi, Thursday.
The Turkish President came to Kenya in the company of 135 top businesspeople from Turkey to explore ways of increasing the commercial engagements with their Kenyan counterparts.
President Kenyatta and President Erdogan said the ambitious target can be easily met through the adoption of innovative business models such as Buy, Operate and Transfer (BOT), and Public Private Sector Partnerships (PPPs).
The leaders also said that they will fast track the signing of an agreement to deal with the issue of double taxation.
The two leaders said they will also cooperate on the development of a preferential trade agreement that Turkey is seeking to have with the Eastern Africa region.
“Both President Erdogan and I agree that the trade volume between our two countries is unacceptably below our expectations and we are committed to see this figure increased to a much higher level,” said President Kenyatta when the two leaders addressed a press conference at State House.
President Kenyatta said interaction between businesspeople from both countries will open more avenues for increasing trade.
During the bilateral meeting, President Kenyatta urged Turkey to invest in Kenya’s renewable energy sector, infrastructure development, agro-processing, irrigation, ICT, oil and mining, the manufacturing sector as well as the LAPSSET project and Konza Techno City.
President Erdogan, on his part, said the government of Turkey is ready to support Turkish businesspeople to invest more in Kenya.
He said the Turkish Exim Bank is ready to provide guarantees and financing to investors in order to increase trade between the two countries.
President Erdogan said Turkey ranks second after China in the construction world and 43 out of the 200 top construction companies in the world are Turkish.
“Our meeting has had positive outcomes for the relations between Kenya and Turkey,” said President Erdogan.
President Kenyatta and President Erdogan also oversaw the signing of three bilateral agreements to improve cooperation between the two countries.
This brings to 13 the number of bilateral agreements signed between Kenya and Turkey so far.