Posted on :Friday , 30th October 2020
Turkey aims to diversify and elevate its economic cooperation with East Africaâ€™s largest economy, Kenya, to a new level based on a â€œwin-winâ€ situation, a Turkish diplomat said this week.
â€œTurkey regards Kenya as a key and robust player in the East and Horn of Africa region and an important partner in Africa,â€ Ahmet Cemil Miroglu, Turkeyâ€™s ambassador to Kenya, told Anadolu Agency in an interview Tuesday.
Miroglu stated, the Turkish government and investors will play a part towards helping Kenya achieve its â€œBig Fourâ€™â€™ priority areas announced by President Uhuru Kenyatta, which include food security, universal health coverage, affordable housing and enhancing manufacturing.
The envoy believes that emphasis on these sectors would bring new perspectives for the two brotherly nations to cooperate economically.
â€œTurkey also sees vast potential in the fields of mining, infrastructure, defense industries, energy and investment,â€ as he urged Turkish business people to spend more in Kenya, the diplomat clarified.
Kenya has surpassed Angola to become the third largest economy in Sub-Saharan Africa, after Nigeria and South Africa, according to a survey published in June by the International Monetary Fund ( IMF).
He is glad to witness the growing interest by Turkeyâ€™s private sector in doing business and investing in Kenya, Miroglu said. It was disclosed by the Turkish diplomat that last year, Kenya was included on the â€œpriority countriesâ€ list of the Turkish Ministry of Trade, which he believes will contribute to developing and diversifying their bilateral trade, which was negatively affected due to COVID-19.
Miroglu illustrated during the interview, the important role played by Turkish Airlines in strengthening economic and social ties between Turkey and Kenya. â€œWhile mentioning Turkish companies in Kenya, I would like to place special emphasis on Turkish Airlines. Since 2009, direct flights between Turkey and Kenya have strengthened our economic and social ties and brought our peoples closer,â€ he said.
It was noted by him that although Turkish Airlines had stopped its passenger flights to Kenya between March 25 and Aug. 1, 2020 due to the ban on international travel because of the coronavirus, its cargo flights continued during this period, keeping the trade link intact. â€œUpon Kenyaâ€™s lifting of the ban on international travel, Turkish Airlines resumed its passenger flights. We are happy to see the growing interest in travelers from both countries especially seeking to resume business,â€ Miroglu said.
The volume of trade between the two countries more than doubled from $52 million in 2005 to over $140 million in 2015. In 2018, the trade volume between Kenya and Turkey totaled $227 million, and in 2019, it was $235 million. Household appliances, processed foods, building materials and iron are some of the goods Turkey exports to Kenya.