10 February 2016

Rwanda: Turkish Investors to Use Rwanda As a Trade Hub

The Turkish Exporters Assembly is planning to use Rwanda as a hub for the distribution of its goods and services in the region, an official has said.

Speaking to The Rwanda Focus, the Turkish ambassador to Rwanda, Mehmet Raif Karaca, said that many Turkish investors are interested in investing in Rwanda's different sectors.

"There is a lot of business potential for Turkish investors in eastern DR Congo, Burundi, western Tanzania and western Kenya. It's in this regard that we want to use Rwanda as a platform to sell Turkish products to these parts of Africa," said Karaca.

The ambassador said this shortly after attending a bilateral business meeting in Kigali. The meeting brought together over 30 Turkish private sector organizations and their Rwandan counterparts.

Ambassador Karaca noted that Rwanda has been rated by many international agencies as one of the most business friendly countries in the world, adding that many Turkish investors are interested in coming to Rwanda as a result.

He further said that his embassy will facilitate Turkish investors to establish businesses in Rwanda.

"There are lots of Rwandan products that can also be exported to Turkey and agro industry is one of the sectors we are looking at. Hopefully in the future, Turkey will also be importing manufactured goods from Rwanda," Karaca said.

Turkey, a member of the G20 is the 17th biggest economy in the world. Though the ambassador could not estimate how many Turkish companies have already opened their offices in Rwanda, he said that most of the goods imported to Rwanda from Turkey are construction materials. He adds that members of the private sector from the two countries will benefit from business cooperation.

Ali Can Yamanyilmaz, the head of the Turkish business delegation, noted that members of the Turkish Exporters Assembly are now coming to Rwanda in big groups.

"We want to establish permanent relations with our Rwandan counterparts, especially members of the private sector," he said.

Speaking at the same event, Rwanda's high commissioner to Turkey, William Nkurunziza said that if the Turks set up a distribution center for their goods and services in Rwanda, then they will have access to the whole region.

"Eastern Congo is about to 2-3 hours way from Kigali and Burundi is about three hours away. Southern Uganda is about two hours from Kigali and western Tanzania which is three hours away from Kigali. I encourage you to use Rwanda as your notch pad instead of using it as a place where you come and sell one container of goods," he said.

Ambassador Nkurunziza noted this will give Turkey access to a market that is bigger than the whole of the Turkish population

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