By Abebech Tamene
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AA)- Turkish companies are eyeing market share in the Ethiopian hospitality industry, which on Thursday saw global service offerings displayed at an expo attended by Ethiopia’s president and Turkey’s ambassador to the country.
The Hotel Show Africa 2016, which opened in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa today, bringing together hundreds of local and international companies, is organized with the aim of connecting businesses.
Turkish Ambassador to Ethiopia Fatih Ulusoy told Anadolu Agency that there are four big Turkish firms taking part in the event.
The companies are active in hotel furnishing, kitchen equipment, and rooms and textiles, among other areas, he said.
“There are Turkish companies keen to work in Ethiopia, and the embassy will do its level best to attract more investors,” he said.
One of the Turkish companies participating is Nazar Furniture Manufacturing whose CEO Huseyin Karahan told Anadolu Agency that “the expo helps to attract more customers.”
“I have been engaged in furniture-making and hotel furnishing for the last three years. I import raw materials from Turkey and manufacture the furniture here.”
Turkish investors are active in Ethiopia’s textile, heavy industry, and construction sectors, and local Turkish investment has reached $2.5 billion.
Opening the event, Ethiopian President Mulatu Teshome expressed belief that “such hospitality and tourism trade fairs would contribute towards the development of the hotel and tourism industry.”
Culture and Tourism Minister Aisha Mohamed Mussa said that “the hospitality business is one of the major components of businesses in the tourism value chain.”
“The central theme of such events is basically to encourage business to business interaction across the continent,” she added.
There are 450 standard hotels in Ethiopia, 150 of which are starred. There are plans to increase the number of standard hotels threefold.