By Isaac Oganga
Trade between Kenya and Türkiye is flourishing and on track to reach both governments’ target of USD 1 billion, according to Ahmet Cemil Miroğlu, Türkiye’s ambassador to Kenya, on a visit to Turkish suppliers and businesses at Tatu City, the 5,000-acre Special Economic Zone on Nairobi’s doorstep.
“I am delighted to witness Türkiye’s trade ties flourishing right here at Tatu City,” Ambassador Miroğlu said. “Kenya and Türkiye share a mission of improving the ease of doing business, and I commend Kenya’s establishment of Special Economic Zones to make it possible for Turkish and Kenyan businesses to trade seamlessly.”
Ambassador Miroğlu visited Cold Solutions Limited, the developer of a 17,000 sqm multipurpose, multi temperature cold storage facility which is expected to be the largest in East and Central Africa. The facility will improve food and pharmaceutical security and promote economic development in Kenya and the region.
The insulation panels in the complex development are made in Türkiye and supplied by Kingspan, a global leader in high performance insulation and building solutions. Cantek Group, also a leader in cold storage solutions, is supplying the refrigeration components for the facility.
Jared Irving, Managing Director of ARCH Emerging Markets Partners, whose fund is undertaking the cold storage investment, expressed confidence in Turkish suppliers. “State-of-the-art Turkish technology is key to the success of many businesses in Kenya, including ours, and we commend the Turkish and Kenyan governments for the enabling investment environments they have created,” he said.
Unity Homes, which is building 3,000 apartments and town homes at Tatu City, exclusively uses Turkish external doors, manufactured by Kulca ic ve dis tic sti Ltd.
“Our customers are 100% satisfied with Turkish products, and we look forward to expanding the range of construction materials and finishings we import from Türkiye,” said John Latham, Executive Director, Unity Homes.
Türkiye exports to Kenya include household appliances, processed foods, construction materials and iron, while Kenya exports mainly agricultural products to Türkiye, including coffee, tea, and fresh fruits, according to Ambassador Miroğlu, who noted that bilateral trade volume reached USD 350 million in 2021.
Ambassador Miroğlu also visited Dr. Mattress, a Turkish owned business which recently moved its existing mattress manufacturing plant to Tatu City and launched furniture manufacturing for both home and hotel use.
“Dr. Mattress symbolises the symbiotic trade partnership between Türkiye and Kenya,” said Adnan Merdin, Founder and Managing Director of Dr. Mattress. “We manufacture high quality products that meet global standards using high quality raw materials from Turkiye and the rest of the world. Dr. Mattress connects the incredible talent of Kenya with Türkiye technology and know-how.”
Currently at Tatu City Special Economic Zone, more than 70 local, regional and multi-national businesses have opened or started development. These include industry leaders such as Dormans, Cooper K-Brands, KWAL, Friendship Group, Chandaria Industries, Kim-Fay, Davis & Shirtliff, Copia, FFS, Twiga Foods and Stecol, among others.
Residential developments at Tatu City include Unity Homes and Kijani Ridge. More than 5,000 homes are completed or under construction, and Crawford International and Nova Pioneer schools educate more than 3,000 students daily.
Bilateral relations between Turkey and Kenya have developed since Kenya gained its independence in 1963 and the Turkish Embassy in Nairobi was opened in 1968. Kenya opened its embassy in Ankara in 2012. Turkish Airlines started to operate commercial flights to Kenya in 2009.
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