Turkish state lender Ziraat to open first foreign bank branch in Ethiopia
ISTANBUL – Anadolu Agency
REUTERS PhotoTurkey’s largest state-owned lender, Ziraat Bank, has proposed opening the first foreign-owned bank branch in Ethiopia, Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci has said.
Speaking at the Turkey-Ethiopia Business Forum in Ankara on April 27, Zeybekci said Turkish lender Ziraat Bank was awaiting a response from Ethiopia on its proposal.
“Ziraat Bank sent a proposal to open a branch in Ethiopia. First, the bank will open an office there, then the bank will be the first bank to obtain a banking license in Ethiopia,” he said.
“I think that everything is positive and it will be positive to open before the end of the year,” he said.
Ziraat employs more than 24,000 people in 1,700 branches and has 57 branches in foreign countries including Germany, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kazakhstan, Russia, the U.K., the U.S., Georgia, Bulgaria and Greece.
Turkey ‘top foreign investor’ in Ethiopia
Turkey is one of the leading countries in terms of foreign direct investment in Ethiopia, along with China and India.
There are more than 350 Turkish companies operating in Ethiopia to date. These companies have created jobs for more than 50,000 Ethiopians.
Turkish investments are also enabling technology and knowledge transfer to Ethiopia, according to Turkish officials, while Turkish investment in Ethiopia stands at $3 billion.
The trade volume between the two countries was $400 million in 2014, down from $421 million in 2013, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute.
Turkish businesses have invested in 14 projects in Ethiopia, including a 389 km-long railway extension project for the Awash-Weldia Railway which aims to connect the northern and eastern parts of the country.