Allafrica.com - The Vice-President of Uganda, Professor Gilbert Bukenya, is due to arrive in Turkey to attend a global business conference on June 1 - 7 in Istanbul. Bukenya is leading a delegation of 20 business people from Uganda, including the state minister for trade and industry, Nelson Gagawala Wambuzi. Bukenya is due to deliver a keynote speech on Tuesday, June 2, on the future of global trade, opportunities and threats for Africa. Other top dignitaries due to address the conference include Andres Pastrana, the Columbian President.
Some 2,000 business people from 150 countries are expected to participate in the seven-day meeting, which according to officials should culminate in deals and collaborations with more than 3,000 Turkish companies. The event is expected to attract 50 trade ministers and 120 presidents of chambers of commerce and industry.
Data from the Uganda Bureau of Statistics show that Uganda's imports from Turkey are on the rise. In 2003, Uganda’s imports from Turkey amounted to USD 1.8 million and reached USD 15 million between 2006 and 2007.
Ilhan Erdogan and Hakki Aydin, the conference co-coordinators in Uganda, say there will be 120,000 matchmaking meetings, while the event is estimated to attract a trade volume target of USD 7 billion.
In the eight programs organized for the last three years, 4,300 companies from 80 countries were in Turkey for 138,000 bilateral business meetings with 11,500 Turkish enterprises. These resulted in USD 7 billion worth of trade volume, according to Erdogan.
With its liberal and trade-oriented policies, Turkey, with a population of 70 million people, has attained an average seven percent growth in the last six years, and total trade volume has exceeded the USD 300 billion threshold.
Being the 15th largest economy in the world, according to IMF, the Turkish economy is very diverse.
It has a strong banking system. Records indicate that Turkey's gross domestic product (GDP) stood at USD 663 billion in 2007, and its per capita GDP reached USD 9.629 in the same year. It is ranked 9th in world tourism earnings, with 23.3 million tourists visiting in 2007.
Its location at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and Africa gives it the advantage of becoming a hub for multinational corporations.