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Turkey is hoping that better relationships between Ethiopian and Turkish banks will increase the amount of products they import from Ethiopia, Capital learnt.
Even though business has increased between the two countries over the past decade, Ethiopia still does not export many of its products to Turkey. There has not been a very strong relationship between Ethiopian and Turkish banks and there has not been a trusted market link between the business communities in both nations. Improvements in these two areas could improve exports. Because there is not a strong relationship between Ethiopian exporters and buyers in Turkey, the business community there has to obtain Ethiopian agricultural products from third countries.
“Turkey imports sesame and other agricultural items from Ethiopia, however they have to buy them from places like Dubai and this means they are paying a higher amount than the original price,” Anteneh Tarkiu, commercial counselor for the Ethiopian Embassy in Turkey, said.
By importing the products directly from Ethiopia it would make the price much more affordable. This can be accomplished by changing the way the two nations’ banks relate to each other.
The National Bank of Ethiopia, the Central Bank, and Guarantee Bank are in negotiations to do just that.
“I have information that the two banks are negotiating to commence relations between their banks,” the commercial counselor told Capital.
Turkish businesses have become wary because some Ethiopian exporters have canceled contracts or have not followed through with promises and as a result they have opted to buy Ethiopian products from other countries at higher prices.
“When we spoke with potential importers in Turkey about buying Ethiopian products directly from the main sources, they claimed that they did not trust Ethiopian exporters because of their previous reputation,” he said.
He added that the situation could be further improved by protecting Turkish investors from default.
Currently, Turkey has become one of the major sources for Ethiopian traders. In the past decade the imports from Turkey have significantly increased. In 2013 Ethiopia imported over USD 380 million worth of products from Turkey, a huge increase from USD 20 million in the year 2000.
The amount that Ethiopia exported to the Turkish market in 2013 was about USD 57 million.