A Turkish business delegation visiting Addis Ababa on Friday called for a free trade pact between Ethiopia and Turkey in a bid to boost bilateral economic ties.
The Turkish delegation visited the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations (ECCSA) in the capital, where they met officials and discussed a wide range of business issues.
The delegation has members representing such sectors as agriculture, hotels and tourism, furniture, pharmaceuticals, foods, clothes, confectionaries, hydraulic equipment, telecommunications products, and electrical appliances.
Ayhan Karahan, who heads the delegation, told Ethiopian officials that his delegation wants a free trade pact to beef up Turkish business engagement in the Horn of Africa country.
Karahan is chairman of the Turkish Entrepreneurship and Business Ethics Association, a group that promotes ethical handling of and better pay for local workers at Turkish businesses overseas.
“It is good that the two countries have an investment protection and avoidance of double taxation agreement,” he said, calling for the free trade pact as another tool to strengthen trade ties.
Binyam Misgina, director of trade and investment promotion at the ECCSA, told the delegation that Ethiopia offers an auspicious destination for Turkish trade and investment because the country has a large market, easily trainable labor force, government incentives including tax relief, and access to regional markets such as the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).
For his part, Turkish Ambassador to Ethiopia Fatih Ulusoy said: “Ethiopia is the first priority country in Africa for Turkish development partnership.”
“We want to boost the volume of trade and investment we have in Africa in general and in Ethiopia in particular,” he said.
“The visiting delegation, which places great importance on business ethics, is seen as a true representative of Turkey,” he said.
By Addis Getachew and Tufan Aktas in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia