The Association of Businessmen and Investors of Nigeria and Turkey (ABINAT) helps businessmen from both countries in their business activities. ABINAT introduces businessmen from Nigeria to the Turkish market to show them the potentials that the country holds for them. At the same time, the group also brings Turkey investors and businessmen to Nigeria. OLUMIDE BAJULAIYE examines the activities of the association and reports…
ABINAT was formally established last year, although as a Turkish community, Turkish businessmen have in Nigeria since 1996. The group often organize business trips and sector by sector trade mission between both countries. Last September, the group organized one business trip which had international dimmension. It was tagged ‘Trade Bridge’. 100 countries had 3,500 businessmen represented in Istanbul for three days where they shared ideas, held business discussions and went round to visit factories, industrial zones and other places of interest. The association helps international businessmen to establish partnerships and assists in merging the right people together. “These businessmen have the technical capacity, knowledge, know how, but are naive in the Nigerian business sector. That is where we come in, especially since we have Nigerian members. We have a worldwide member of 125,000 people,” Mr. Yavuz Zemheri, the President of the association, explained. He said ABINAT is an organization that was founded to create a long-lasting business bridge between Nigeria and Turkey to ease the burden of global networking by connecting business people and increasing the level of trade between both nations.
Zemheri: Volume of Trade Between Nigeria, Turkey in Excess of $2,5 billion
Zemheri said there are a lot of potentials for Turkish investors in Nigeria. “Turkish construction firms rank among the best in the world. After the 1991 collapse of SSCB, many Turkish construction companies went to Central Asia, and many major buildings there were constructed by Turkish firms, roads, bridges and others; in Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Libya, Algeria, Egypt. Turkish construction firms have also made inroads into Europe,” he said.
“We focus on some sectors in Nigeria. For example infrastructure, energy, agriculture, and construction. These are the main sectors in Nigeria that Turkish business people have interest in and they are heavily doing business with Nigeria.
“On the other hand for Nigeria, agriculture is the biggest investment opportunity for Nigerians in Turkey. 80 percent of Turkish sea seem seed are from Nigeria. Natural gas, crude oil, cocoa, zobo, flour machineries used by companies like Nigeria Flour Mills Dangote Flour Mill, all their machines are from Turkey as well as the experts,” he said.
“We are also experts in the areas of textiles, furniture, cosmetics, packaging materials, machinery and others. We can compete in terms of quality with global manufacturers in US and European countries. We cannot compete with China in terms of price though,” he added.
According to Zemheri, “In 2006, the volume of trade between Nigeria and Turkey stood at $230, 000. By the end of 2013 to 2014, it has moved to more than $2.5billion.
“Every year we take between 500 to 600 buisnessmen to Turkey and from Turkey to Nigeria to bring investments into Nigeria. We are doing this in collaboration with the Ministry of Trade and Nigeria Investment Promotion Council. We have very good connection and understanding. We also collaborate with NACCIMA and other chambers of commerce”.
He said ABINAT’s main objective is not to make profit but to promote investment.
ABINAT is the Nigerian body that represents the Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists of Turkey (TUSKON), a non-governmental and non-profit global business body. It hosts about 55,000 business people and 140,000 various companies from around the world. ABINAT serves as a link not only between Nigeria and Turkey but also to the world via its various branches in other nations. With a strong foot hold in global business, ABINAT has representatives and partner organizations in Washington DC, Brussels, Moscow, Beijing and Addis Ababa among other locations in at least 140 countries.
One of the organization’s main activities is organising frequent platforms for business people and investors from around the world to meet and discuss ways to improve trade in their countries. The platforms are created in various countries around the world to improve the richness in business networking for participating members. ABINAT frequently organises trips to Turkey to link Nigerian businessmen directly with investors and manufacturing industries, cutting out the need for middle men in business communication.
ABINAT focuses on businesses between Nigeria and Turkey. The organisation provides Nigeria businessmen access to various modern technological solutions capable of revolutionizing the commercial and industrial development of the country and Africa as a whole. It also organizes conferences, exhibitions and seminars headed by leading professionals in their fields, giving members an avenue to discuss and connect in new ways for increased trade between both nations. It represents members’ interests and assists them in achieving their goals on a global scale. It also provides information on Nigeria to various interested investment bodies in Turkey, print publications that promote members’ businesses and interests, while reporting global updates on the federation’s activities and achievements.