The New Times (Kigali)

23 August 2014

Rwanda: Local Business People Turn to Turkey for Mentorship

A group of local business people will this weekend visit Gebze in Turkey on a week-long business and networking tour.

Hannington Namara, the Rwanda Private Sector Federation (PSF) chief executive officer, said the business people were invited by Turkey's Gebze Chamber of Commerce through the Rwandan embassy in Ankara to discuss possible partnerships and joint ventures.

The 25-member delegation, which includes people from mining, manufacturing, agro-processing, information and technology and real estate sectors will be led by Geoffrey Kamanzi, the PSF head of trade negotiations and facilitation.

Others are from construction, leisure and tourism, logistics and transport industries.

"The tour will provide a platform for Rwandan firms to forge ties with their Turkish counterparts and share experiences, which could result into profitable partnerships that will help strengthen the capacity of local enterprises," Kamanzi noted.

According to Caesar Kayızari, Rwanda's ambassador to Turkey, the delegation will hold meetings with their Turkish counterparts about investment opportunities in Rwanda and hopefully sign some partnership deals.

"Many Turkish investors want to invest in Rwanda through joint ventures with local businesses. So, this visit is part of efforts towards that goal. We are hopeful that a few Turkish firms will form joint venture partnerships with Rwandan businesses, Kayızari noted

"It's our responsibility to facilitate and promote initiatives that strengthen economic relationships between the two countries; and also use Turkey to penetrate other European markets."

Kayızari said the group will also tour Gebze industrial zone to share knowledge on technology and manufacturing.

This will be the third time Rwandan firms are visiting Turkey to foster business partnerships this year.

Experts say these visits are key if Rwanda is to create new markets and attract more investors, adding that they also help the country's private sector learn and improve their production processes.

In 2012, the governments of Rwanda and Turkey signed a memorandum of understanding providing a co-operation framework between the two countries to strengthen mutual understanding and investments.

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