Turkey scales up relations

23 Sep, 2022 - 00:09 0 Views

The Herald

Mukudzei Chingwere

Herald Reporter

Zimbabwe’s drive to lure investment has attracted the attention of the Republic of Turkey, which has revealed plans to increase flights between Harare/Victoria Falls and South East Europe as a way of increasing the trade figures between the two countries.

This came out yesterday during the Zimbabwe-Turkey business webinar organised by ZimTrade, that brought authorities from the two countries together.

Turkey’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, represented by the Deputy Director-General Mr Fatih Ak said trade between the two countries was just over US$31 million which has the opportunity for growth.

“We encourage Turkish Airlines to organise flights to Zimbabwe. We believe Turkish Airlines flying to Harare and Victoria Falls will contribute and enhance our relations in the fields of tourism and deepen our relations.

“Our trade with Zimbabwe was only slightly over US$31 million in 2021 which we believe remains lower than its potential.

“We believe that there is ample room to develop our bilateral relations with the Southern African region in general and with Zimbabwe in particular.

“For this to happen we should do our homework; we have some agreements which we should sign in the coming periods,” said Mr Fatih Ak.

Turkish Ambassador to Zimbabwe Berna Versteden said there is a huge potential for cooperation between the two countries particularly in the agricultural and energy sectors.

The agricultural sector is a key sector which, among other sectors, is supposed to pivot President Mnangagwa’s vision of attaining an upper middle income society by 2030.

“There is an interest in private companies who are interested in enhancing our partnership across the board.

“Agro-business, agricultural area, textile area, that would be a very good area of cooperation since Zimbabwe is a good producer of cotton while Turkey is a good manufacturer of textile products. 

“Not only Agro-business, but also energy are very key areas we can deepen our relationship with Zimbabwe,” said Ambassador Versteden.

Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Mr Eria Phiri who represented Ambassador James Manzou encouraged private companies in both countries to exploit business opportunities abound.

“I implore the business sector not only to focus on the economies of the two countries, but also to look beyond, work together to exploit business opportunities in the emerging, but huge continental markers under various economic trading blocs which the two countries are part of.

“We call upon the private sector to be better prepared to face the challenges of today’s rigid global competition by strengthening capacities, embracing innovation and working hand in glove with the Government to invest in areas that are critical to socio economic progress of our peoples.”

“Zimbabwe offers vast opportunities for investment in both solar energy and renewable energy,” said Mr Phiri.

Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to Turkey Alfred Mutiwazuka said there have been a lot of inquiries about opportunities in Zimbabwe from both the public and private sectors.

He envisaged a boom in trade relations given the increased appetite for Turkish investment into Zimbabwe.

“We have worked very hard to market the vast economic opportunities in our country. I am glad our efforts are bearing fruits given the vast number of enquiries we are receiving,” said Ambassador Mutiwazuka.

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