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Traders move to Turkey to source for imports

Fewer options force traders to seek import alternatives

In Summary

•Following restricted travel to and from China due to the coronavirus, traders who solely source their merchandise from China were at the risk of shutting down.

President Uhuru Kenyatta with H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of The Republic of Turkey at State House, Nairobi./FILE
President Uhuru Kenyatta with H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of The Republic of Turkey at State House, Nairobi./FILE

Traders have now opted for alternate markets to source for products to keep their businesses afloat, Turkey being one of them.

Following restricted travel to and from China due to the coronavirus, traders who solely source their merchandise from China were at the risk of shutting down.

The virus slowed down the Chinese economy, which suffered a shutdown of key sectors and industries in the last two months.

 

Zipporah Wairimu who sells household items and phone accessories that she used to source from China said she is now importing the products from Turkey.

“I was able to get similar products to those I got from China however at a higher price,” said Wairimu.

The high cost of goods incurred while imported will, in turn, be transferred to the buyers thus pumping high the cost of living.

Wairimu said that she could not afford to close her business as it was her only source of income that she uses to raise her family of three.

Samuel Maina who sells construction materials also said he had started importing from Turkey.

Turkey exports to Kenya include household appliances, processed foods, construction materials and iron among others, while Kenya exports mainly agricultural products to Turkey including coffee, tea, and fresh fruits

In 2018, the volume of trade between Kenya and Turkey was $227 million(Sh2.27billion) and in 2019 it  rose to $235 million(Sh2.35 billion)

 

Turkey and Kenya are set to sign new cooperation agreements aimed at avoiding double taxation and improving cooperation in business.

“We hope the agreement will help to further boost our trade and economic cooperation,” said Turkish Ambassador to Kenya Ahmet Cemil Miroğlu in a recently published Turkish daily.

Turkish Airlines fly daily to Kenya's capital Nairobi from the Turkish metropolitan city of Istanbul and operates five flights a week from Istanbul to Mombasa.

 It also operates cargo operations five times a week between the two countries.

The Middle Eastern country yesterday, however, announced it's the first death from the coronavirus with a total of 98 cases.

It has since banned flights from the UK, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Ireland and the United Arab Emirates and might now also ban flights to Kenya and from as our Covid-19 cases continue to rise.

The country yesterday reported three more cases bringing the total to 7 as the first case was reported last Friday.

The disease has so far killed over 6,000 people globally and infected thousands.

"We shall overcome this problem as a result of togetherness," President Uhuru Kenyatta said.