Turkish Massive Participation at the Sanaa International Exhibition [Archives:2001/22/Last Page]

May 28 2001

Among a large number of international companies at the Sanaa International Exhibition, Turkey has the largest share of space and number of companies. The Sana’a International Exhibition was held during 20-26 May 2001 at Shumaila Center, Sana’a. The participation covered various industrial fields of textile, machinery, furniture and other industries.
The economic relations between Turkey and Yemen are at a good level but there is still a vast area to be exploited. The legal basis of the economic relations between Turkey and Yemen is formed by the “Agreement of Economic, Trade and Technical Cooperation” which was signed in 1991.
The year 2000 was also significant in Turkish-Yemeni trade relations, because of the Joint Ministerial Committee convened in Ankara and the 4 economic agreements which have been signed;
– Agreement on Mutual Promotion and Protection of the Investments.
– Tourism Cooperation Agreement
– Road Transportation Agreement
– Cooperation Agreement between the Chambers of Commerce of the two countries.
Yemen Times visited the exhibition and met with some of the representatives of the participating Turkish companies. It was interesting to note that most of the Yemeni visitors focused on textile products, including furniture covers, etc.
Ahmet Atinc of the Akkoza Textile Company said, “Our products are desirable and marketable in Yemen because of their high quality and low prices. Our textile products are all 100% cotton, and have no artificial material within them. This makes Turkish products preferable over other products with the same price from East Asia and other countries.”
He added, “We have come here to investigate the environment and demand for our products. I can tell you that there seems to be incredible potential for our products. The situation in Yemen reminds me with that in Algeria several years ago. Even though you sense the demand and requirement, there are no human resources to deliver and market those products. I hope that within a few years, Yemen could become one of the most important markets for our products.”About the obstacles Turkish investors and companies face in Yemen, Mr. Atinc said, “There are several obstacles in Yemen that cause some frustration for Turkish companies, and I presume any investors. Most of the banks in Yemen are not approved for all the banking transactions by our Turkish banks. The import taxes are quite high, and it is not easy to find reliable and trusted representatives and dealers to form partnerships with in Yemen. I also believe that the Yemeni government is not doing enough to promote investment in the country and have foreign investors encouraged. Those investors could serve the economy well by providing employment opportunities and sources of revenue for the government and people. I do wish that the government could work more in this aspect.”Ms. Nurbanu Calisir is the Foreign Trade Manager of the Nurel Textile Company, which manufactures scarfs and similar textile products. When asked about the aim of the visit she replied, “This is our first visit to Yemen and we feel that we are starting to establish ourselves in the country. We have already struck a deal with Al Hammam Establishment at the Saeed Trade Center to market our products in Yemen. We have come to investigate the market and study the potential for our products. I am glad to say that I was amazed by the level of acceptance to our products by Yemenis.”Regarding the obstacles she said, “The main obstacle is the high taxes. Could you believe that the taxes on scarf products reach 25% of the price, which is among the highest in the world. The average rate is around 10%.”She concluded by saying, “I am happy to have started doing business in Yemen. It is true that the country has the potential and we do acknowledge that. However, this exhibition would have included much more Turkish companies if it were not for the economic disaster that struck Turkey this year. I hope that all the companies that failed to come this year will come next year for an exclusive Turkish exhibition.”Other products imported form Turkey which have wide acceptance in the Yemeni market are furniture, and Turkey is among the most famous countries which produces high quality, low cost furniture in the world. Yemen Times met with Mr. Sadullah Kayalar representing the Adore Company for Furniture Products, who said, “The Yemeni market has been closed and isolated for so long, and I can openly tell you that we have revealed a market in Yemen with the highest of potentials in the Arabian Peninsula. Our products have proven their high quality everywhere in the world, and I have no doubt that Yemenis will also admire them. From the few days of the exhibition, I conclude that Yemenis are most interested in our bedrooms, which are designed in the most modern styles using the most modern machinery. The cheap prices of our goods gives us great advantages over other products.”He concluded by saying, “We feel that we can do a lot in Yemen, but we need to get in touch with businessmen willing to do business with us or become our partners. We are in dire need to make agreements with trustworthy businessmen who could market and sell our products. We know that there is demand for our products but we cannot sell them unless we get support from the local people. We have sensed the closeness in traditions and values between our two peoples and believe we can do a lot together. Finally, I am delighted to express my thanks to all who supported this fabulous exhibition and thank the Yemeni people for their hospitality and warmth.”Mr. Serkan Ceylan of Ladin for Exhibitions was among the active representatives of the Turkish exhibition. Regarding the business relationship between Yemen and Turkey he said, “The trade volume between Yemen and Turkey for the companies in this exhibition are expected to reach US$ 4 million at the end of 2001 alone. There is a tremendous growth of 400% every year and this will have a great impact on the economic relationship between the two countries. The participating companies produce various goods including the sectors of textiles, furniture, electronics, kitchen equipment, shoes, cables, and different machines. This growth is not surprising if you know that Turkish products are as high in quality as European products but are much less in price. On the other hand, the Yemeni market has a lot to offer. I take this opportunity to call upon all Turkish firms to explore Yemen and start their investments as soon as possible.”