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Saturday, 11 September 2010 13:32

EAC, Turkey to Discuss Free Trade Pacts

By Dorothy Nakaweesi

DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania, September 11, 2010 (Daily Monitor) - The East Africa Community and Turkey will discuss trade partnerships when they meet in a business forum between September 28 and 30.


The two trading partners will discuss the possibility of a Free Trade Agreement and a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement.


The benefits of this development will see EAC expand and diversify her exports; through tapping into the Turkish market and its expanded reach.

communication issued to Daily Monitor from the EAC secretariat on Wednesday said: "The forum will see matching of projects and investors - between EAC and Turkish investors looking to establish businesses in the region; complementary industries and joint ventures."


Understanding business

Other issues to be discussed include improved understanding of the business and investment opportunities and incentives in both Turkey and the EAC region.

The forum will have detailed presentations on key sectors including; textiles and clothing, agriculture and agro-processing. Construction and real estate development, infrastructure development, mining and natural resources and tourism will also be considered.


Recently, Turkish Airlines opened routes in the region including Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya to focus on the improvement of trade and economic relations.

The developments reflect the momentum gained by EAC and Turkey relations, which places the two countries in a comfortable position to enter fruitful economic and cultural relations.

Turkey, being the only pluralist secular democracy in the Muslim world, offers the EAC region a physical and cultural bridge to Europe and Asia, North and South, in the heart of Eurasia.


Big donor

The 16th largest and 4th fastest growing economy in the world, Turkey's GNP is about 798 billion dollars. Turkey is also the 4th biggest donor in the world with respect to its GNP. Its economy is service sector driven, accounting for 59.3 per cent of GDP in 2007.


The agricultural sector accounts for 8.9 per cent of the GDP, while the industrial sector accounts for 30.8 per cent. The EAC region offers investors and potential exporters the 2nd largest single market in Africa of around 130 million consumers.


The region through Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi, investors have access to the COMESA market of 385 million consumers and, through Tanzania, to the SADC market of 215 million people.


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