Local entrepreneurs take part in Turkish trade fair
A delegation of 20 local business operators have said their ten day tour of Turkey was fruitful as they were able to borrow a leaf from their business counterparts especially those in the construction industry.
The entrepreneurs were in the European nation to take part in an exhibition under the theme “Turkey-World Trade Bridge” that brought together over 5,000 participants from 130 countries from 5 -8 June, 2012.
We had a myth that Dubai and China are our only potential partners in construction materials but Turkey have standard materials with lower prices
In an exclusive interview with Eugene Ruhetamacumu, the Managing Director of Meganewton, a local construction company, participants that included engineers, dealers in construction materials, hoteliers and architects, were selected from different construction sub-sectors.
During the tour, the delegation visited various enterprises including electricity transformer, small machinery, medical equipment, hotel and furniture factories as well as several restaurant chains.
“We had a myth that Dubai and China are our only potential partners in construction materials but Turkey have standard materials with lower prices compared to the rest of Europe,” said Ruhetamacumu, one of the participants.
Last year, the industrial sector registered the fastest growth at 15 per cent with construction leading the way at 22.3 per cent, followed by mining and manufacturing at 15 per cent and 6.8 per cent respectively.
The annual exhibition sought to deepen ties between Turkish and foreign firms in the construction, textile and furniture industries.
The event, which was organised by the Turkish Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists (TUSKON), was one of Turkey’s largest ever annual trade summits.
“We made strategic contacts based on our business interest and hope to keep in touch for future collaboration.”
Tuskon already has a contact person in the country and is willing to facilitate business operators who seek any orders from Turkey.
“There is a huge business opportunity and I think we got better treatment because of the strong foundation laid by our President who had previously visited the European country,” he said.
“Our country has a good reputation in Turkey and we should use the chance to build a strong trade relationship between the two countries. Rwanda is a small country but with a big vision”.
Farry Gitori, an architect and another participant, was impressed by the Turkish people, praising them for their hard work and encouragement.
“There are multimillion dollar investors who encouraged us saying they started like us, with small capital,” Gitori said.
“Construction is the same throughout the world but they are far ahead in technology and we should also focus on technological transfer in the future.”
According to Gitori, the two countries share a common trade vision and leadership that are both supportive to the business community.
He urged the Ministry of Education to consider partnering with Turkey in the sector especially through vocational training.
Government is set to increase spending on infrastructural projects in the next fiscal year in a bid to improve the doing business environment and boost the country’s economic growth in the medium term.
It is estimated that Rwf651.1 billion will be spent on several infrastructural projects such as roads and energy.
However, this year, value added tax and excise duties on imported construction materials will increase by an average of 5 per cent, generating Rwf1 billion to government coffers, a move that is tailored to boost local factories.