President Kenyatta with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan witness signing of agreements between two countries on agreed sectors of cooperation by Industry, Investment and Trade CS Adan Mohamed and Turkish minster. More than 10 agreements and memorandum of understanding were signed
Kenya and Turkey have set an ambitious target to grow their bilateral trade volume to the one billion dollar (Ksh100 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 business people 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.
The three agreements signed today include MoUs between the Ministry of Water and Irrigation, and the Yepi Merkezi, to support the implementation of the Greater Mt. Elgon-Bungoma-Busia Multipurpose Water Project.
The Turkish Standards Institute and the Kenya Bureau of Standards signed an MoU while the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation signed a similar agreement with the Turkish Radio and Television (TRT).
President Erdogan said Turkey wants to strengthen its traditional ties with Kenya and use that relationship to access the wider Eastern Africa market. “The trade between our countries stands at 144 million dollars and this is insignificant. President Kenyatta and I have set a target for the future and we said let us lift this figure to the 1 billion dollar mark,” said President Erdogan.
On the issue of security, the Turkish leader said his country will continue sharing military and intelligence information with Kenya because both countries live in neighbourhoods affected by terrorism. “Kenya has invested heavily in the stability of the whole region. Both Turkey and Kenya have faced similar problems because of their geographical locations,” said President Erdogan.
He said Turkey will stand by Kenya to deal with the threats posed by terrorism and radicalism. On the issue of Somalia, the two Presidents agreed to continue working closely for the stabilisation of Somalia.
The Turkish leader also called on the international community to shoulder its responsibility when it comes to the issue of refugees. President Kenyatta said Kenya and Turkey will continue working closely in the recovery of Somalia. (PSCU)