Kenya anticipates mouth-watering trade deals with Turkey ahead of Forum

As the 2018 Turkey-Africa Economic and Business Forum (TABEF) draws near, African businesses are looking to sign mutually beneficial trade deals that would boost bilateral ties between Turkey and Africa.

The Business Forum aims to provide a platform for businesses in Africa and Turkey to meet, discuss and develop new partnerships. TABEF will bring together companies from over 50 African Countries, over 1,500 Turkish Companies and over 7,000 participants.

Ahead of the event, which is to take place in Turkey’s capital, Istanbul from 10 to 11 October, Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) is working to ensure Kenya is well represented by flagging public invitations to businesses in every nook and cranny of the country.

“KEPSA together with the Turkish Embassy in Nairobi extend an exclusive invitation for you to attend the Turkey-Africa Economic and Business Forum to be held under the auspices of H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of the Republic of Turkey at Istanbul Lutfi Kirdar ICEC in Istanbul,” KEPSA’s stated.

Kenya is not alone as businesses in 49 African countries anticipate trade deals at the second TABEF. In 2017, Up to $40 million business deals were signed.

Turkey–African relations

Turkey has a long-standing historical and cultural relations with Africa. In the last two decades, the Eurasian nation’s foreign policy has shifted mainly due to the end of the Cold War and its vision 2023 plan to take part in all global affairs, play a determining role in international organisations and form economic co-operation in different nations, especially ones from Africa.

Turkey has signed Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreements with 38 African countries and Turkish contractors are amongst the major undertakers on the African continent. The share of African countries in the overall international business volume of Turkish contractors is around 21 percent. So far, Turkish contractors have undertaken over 1.150 projects worth $55 billion in Africa.

Turkey’s decade-long economic boom has been accompanied by a renewed interest in Africa and the trade volume with the continent quadrupled to $18.9 billion in 2017. Exports to Africa were valued at $11.6 billion and imports US$7.1 billion.

It is unclear how the economic crisis the country currently grapples with, will affect TABEF. Turkey’s central bank raised interest rates Thursday, to 24 percent from 17.75 percent, citing concerns over price stability. The Bank said it would maintain a tight stance on monetary policy until the inflation outlook improves significantly.

The central bank’s decision comes hours after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called high interest rates a “tool of exploitation”. The regulator’s refusal to raise interest rate despite growing inflation has weakened investor confidence and raised questions about the independence of the Bank. The latest action is expected to help the central bank regain investor confidence as it continues tackling Turkey’s growing economic problems.