A delegation from Turkish Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists (TUSKON), led by Chairman Rızanur Meral, visited Ethiopia last week along with Undersecretary for Foreign Trade Tuncer Kayalar.
Ethiopia has deemed Turkey to be one of the most strategically important of three partner countries -- both economically and politically. The delegation met with Minister of Industry and Trade Girma Birru. “We want our businessmen to cooperate with Turkish businessmen,” Birru said. He added that they were expecting Turkish entrepreneurs to invest in the textile, food, agriculture and medical sectors in Ethiopia. He said Turkish investors have the same rights as local investors in Ethiopia and there are many opportunities for them.
TUSKON Chairman Rızanur Meral (3rd,left) and Foreign Trade Undersecretary Tuncer Kayalar (5th,left) visited Ethiopian Minister Girma Birru (4th, left).
Birru said Ethiopia is among those countries that have developed political stability and security. He emphasized that production costs are very low in the country and the average monthly wages are below $100. Energy costs are also lower in Ethiopia than in Turkey.
He said the government was allocating land to investors through long-term leasing. The annual rent for 1,000 square meters of farm land is $8. The rent in the industrial zone only 30 kilometers away from the capital Addis Ababa is $0.30 per square meter. The government offers 70 percent of the investment’s costs at the beginning of the project with a 10-year repayment schedule. Birru said Turkish businessmen could also invest in the health care sector in light of the fact that Ethiopian Airlines currently flies patients from all across Africa to Bangkok for medical care.
The delegation also met with Ethiopian businessmen at the Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce and Industry where the chamber president, Getachew Ayenew, said they were glad to host the group. He emphasized that there are many opportunities in textiles, plastics, food and agriculture. Ayenew pointed out another incentive in which equipment imported for investment is free of customs charges.
He remarked that agriculture is their priority in collaboration with Turkish businessmen, followed by industry. “There are great opportunities in agriculture and the agricultural industry; however, technologic investments are needed to convert this potential into production,” he said. He also pointed out that there are various tax deductions for foreign investments, depending on the sector.
ABDULHAMİT YILDIZ ADDİS ABABA