New embassy in Turkey will facilitate closer trade ties

Cabinet last week appointed an ambassador to Turkey. Rwanda’s decision to open an embassy in Istanbul could not have come at a better time.

Cabinet last week appointed an ambassador to Turkey. Rwanda’s decision to open an embassy in Istanbul could not have come at a better time.

At the Turkey-Rwanda Trade and Investment Forum in Istanbul, last year, President Paul Kagame said Rwanda was keen to welcome more Turkish investors and that the relations between the two countries would facilitate closer trade ties.

With three weekly flights between Kigali and Istanbul courtesy of Turkish Airlines, Rwandans should be enthusiastic about the imminent trade prospects. 

Rwanda has over the years, gained a solid reputation as East Africa’s crown of business and trade opportunities due to its ethical business practices.

Turkey has emulated China’s push to boost trade with East Africa. It wants to erode the market share of African traditional trading partners: Europe and North America.

Last year, the Turkish deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc, while opening the Turkey-Africa Forum, said Africa holds a special relationship of brotherhood and business in the heart of Turkey. He said his country is open to doing business with Africa on an equal footing.

There is, therefore, optimism that opening an embassy in Turkey will help bind the existing cooperation between Rwanda and Turkey and interest the European nation and its strong business community to increase their  investments in Rwanda.

Turkish investors could also look at the wider East Africa Community (EAC) market with its population of 130 million, and a functioning Customs Union that permits free movement of goods and services within the bloc.

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