Turkey proposes to establish free-trade area with East African Community

08:31, June 24, 2010      

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Turkey has expressed interest to create a free-trade and investment area between Turkey and the East African Community (EAC), Xinhua learnt on Wednesday.

Turkish Ambassador to Tanzania Sander Gurbuz said his country is interested to forge diplomatic relations with the regional bloc while presenting his credentials to Secretary General of EAC Juma Mwapachu in Arusha in northeast Tanzania on Tuesday.

On the free-trade area, Gurbuz noted that having a free-trade area between the two sides would swiftly boost socio-economic development in the region. The negotiations for the Free Trade Agreement and Trade and an Investment Framework Agreement is scheduled to take place in September this year.

The Turkish ambassador noted that Turkey has made remarkable development in the tourism and textile industries, and that Turkey has diverse skills in technology and other areas, which will be instrumental for the development of the two.

"This will give an opportunity for businessmen from the EAC to freely trade with Turkey while the same would happen for Turkish business people," he said, adding that the official proposal for the free-trade area will soon be presented to the EAC secretary general.

He also explained that EAC has a lot of opportunities that need to be shared by the two sides including tourist attractions. The ambassador pledged that Turkey will bring to East Africa a large number of Turkish tourists in the near future.

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