Turkey to increase investments in Uganda – envoy
|Turkey’s ambassador to Uganda, Kerem Alp|
Several Turkish companies have opened manufacturing plants and other businesses in Uganda, creating jobs and boosting the local economy, a top diplomat has told Anadolu Agency.
“The Turkish government is promoting a model of encouraging its companies to invest more in developing economies rather than just exporting goods to these countries. This helps the local economy to develop,” Turkey’s ambassador to Uganda, Kerem Alp, said in an exclusive interview.
Turkish companies that have set up plants in Uganda include Level Energy, currently employing more than 40 Ugandans, Potenza Lubricants and Colin Construction, which completed a motorway project.
Alp said Turkish construction company Yenigun also intends to invest in the East African nation.
‘‘We want to bring some of Turkey’s best investments and sustainable development to Uganda.
“Instead of exporting their manufactured goods from Turkey, they have decided to set up their bases here. They are producing here and have access to the market in Uganda, DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo) and South Sudan,” he said.
Alp said the strategy implemented by the Turkish companies is a good prototype which is sustainable.
“We believe this model should be further supported because it will increase trade and investment opportunities,” he said.
The volume of trade between Turkey and Uganda is approximately $40 million. Turkey exports goods worth $30 million to Uganda annually and imports goods worth $10 million from Uganda.
Among the goods Turkey exports to Uganda are furniture, lubricants, textiles and energy products, while Uganda exports mainly agricultural products, including fruits and coffee.
The two countries enjoy good relations and are celebrating 50 years of diplomatic ties.
Relations have also been strengthening recently. Turkish Airlines has launched cargo flights to Uganda twice weekly and daily passenger service.
“Uganda, being a land-locked country, has some difficulty in exporting its produce, and we are now trying to promote that by building a bridge between Turkey and Uganda,” Alp said.
He said the two nations were facing the challenge of increasing trade and investment due to prejudices and because traders do not know each other’s country, referring to misconceptions about business practices.
“We are trying to break those prejudices,” he said.
Alp said the Turkish embassy is organizing seminars to give an opportunity to Ugandan and Turkish traders to interact and network.
‘‘Since I arrived here (in Uganda) eight months ago, we have had two business council meetings — one for Turkish electronics exporters in May, and a Uganda-Turkish business forum in June organized by DEIK (Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey) and its Ugandan counterparts. At these events, about 300 businessmen met and now know each other,” he said.
He added that the growing relationship between Turkey and Uganda could also benefit Uganda’s youth through the opening up of job opportunities in Turkey, since there is a large number of well-educated young people in Uganda.
—— AUTO – GENERATED; Published (Halifax Canada Time AST) on: July 13, 2019 at 10:58AM