Zambia’s Ambassador to Turkey Joseph Chilengi said Ziraat Bank, a reputable financial institution, could play a role in supporting trade and investment between the two countries.
He said this during a bilateral meeting with Ziraat Bank executive vice-president for Treasury Management and International Banking, Bilgehan Kuru, in Ankara.
“It is important to note that all major power houses have their own structures of facilitating trade and investment and Turkey as an emerging powerhouse both politically and economically should consider opening a branch in Zambia,” Dr Chilengi said, adding that Zambia remained an investment destination of choice because of peace and political stability enjoyed since independence in 1964.
He said Turkey’s engagement in sub-Saharan Africa in recent years had been driven by the region’s importance to Ankara and that the agenda to boost trade and investment between the two countries cannot be achieved without the support of the banking and financial sector.
“…Turkish businesses are craving out a new niche, like Zambia, and Turkish Airlines started to fly directly to Zambia in December which is helping in enhanching trade and investment between the two countries,” said Dr Chilengi.
Kuru, for his part, acknowledged that the banking sector plays a critical role in efforts to boost trade and investment between Zambia and Turkey.
He said the bank was exploring opportunities in Africa because of the huge trade and investment potential that the continent provides and promised that Ziraat will explore the possibility of opening a branch or subsidiary in Zambia.
Ziraat Bank has 1,800 inland branches in Turkey with operations in over 18 countries such as the United Kingdom, Germany, Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Iraq among others.