Turkey is aiming to raise its iron and steel exports to Kenya, as part of efforts to push trade volumes with the East African country to $1 billion in 10 years.

Bilateral trade volume between the two countries hit $156 million (Sh13.45 billion) in 2012.

According to the Turkish government, more than one third of Turkish exports were composed of iron and steel products, as a result of the African country’s boom in buildings and infrastructure construction.

In November, the Turkey’s Steel Exporters Association organised a four-day tour for representatives of 10 Kenyan companies dealing in metal to inspect some factories in the country.

“The delegation visited Istanbul and Iskenderun in Turkey…the visit is expected to bear concrete results in the bilateral trade of the two countries in the immediate future” the embassy said in a statement.

The visit was also a follow up to a similar one by the Turkish association to Kenya in September 2012.

In October, Koray Demircan, commercial counsellor at the Turkish embassy said several trade pacts were being negotiated including elimination of double taxation, investment promotion and security cooperation in a bid to increase trade and investments between the two states.

According to ‘The State of East Africa 2013’ report released on Friday, Kenya’s total iron and steel imports amounted to Sh58.4 billion ($677 million) last year.

This was the fifth top import after petroleum products ($2.8 billion), industrial machinery ($2.3 billion), motor vehicles ($882 million) and crude petroleum ($814 million).

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