Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey

“Strength of Turkey-US relations very important for Europe and the Middle East”

09.12.2016 / Ankara

TOBB President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that they, as business circles, want to strengthen the economy aspect, in addition to political and military aspects, of Turkey and US relations by trading and investing more; that the strength of Turkey-US relations is as important for Europe and the Middle East as it is for Turkey and the US.​

Attending the meeting which took place at TOBB to contribute to the development of financial and trade relations between the two countries were Minister of Economy Nihat Zeybekci, TOBB President M. Rifat Hisarciklioglu, Executive Director of the United States - Turkey Business Council Jennifer Miel, US Deputy Ambassador to Ankara Philip Kosnett and senior representatives of US companies based in Turkey.

TOBB President Hisarcıklıoğlu spoke at the meeting, drawing attention to the memorandum of understanding signed between TOBB and the US Chamber of Commerce in 2012, “We have made great progress in terms of our joint activities and contribution to Turkey-US relations during this time. As a part of TOBB-US Chamber of Commerce cooperation, we have had the opportunity to host our Prime Minister, Prime Minister Deputies, Economy Minister and many of our Ministers and bring them to meet with our business circles. Today, we bring together our Economy Minister with US companies operating in Turkey. The Minister will address this business meeting in regards to the investment environment in Turkey, the possibilities provided to investors and the predictions of our government for 2017.”

Stating that Turkey has carried out significant work in the fields of increasing foreign trade, attracting more international investment and promotion under Economy Minister Zeybekci’s leadership, Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “Especially during this period, we need to explain Turkey’s position much more clearly. The Minister initiated work on this subject. TOBB has been participating in and contributing to this endeavor since its beginning. I would also like to thank the Minister for his efforts to uncover new opportunities for the business community and Turkey's promotion abroad.”

Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that TOBB and the US Chamber of Commerce have cooperated to carry out high level delegation visits and to spread out their activities to beyond just Ankara and Istanbul in Turkey.

Hisarcıklıoğlu reported that they’ve signed the memorandum of understanding to extend their cooperation between TOBB and the US Chamber of Commerce for another year and said, “We will continue our work in 2017. We will also go to new states and cities this year and promote investment opportunities in Turkey. Likewise, we will organize an event to convey investment opportunities in the US to the companies of our country.

We have added promising sectors to the scope of our work. We have spread to fields such as biotechnology, tourism, the pharmaceuticals industry, health, communication technologies and venture capital. We are also work-ing on the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Agreement between the US and the EU. We put great importance to Turkey's commitment to this agreement or to the signing of a free trade agreement between Turkey and the United States. In this context, the joint report we organized was presented to the public in September last year.

We know that there are serious cooperation opportunities in the third countries, especially in contracting. For this reason, the US Chamber of Commerce opened a regional office at our Union Headquarters in Istanbul. We work together in the Middle East through the Middle East Trade Center Project. We have re-addressed the same issue under this year's collaboration. We are doing all of this in the conviction of the importance of Turkey-US relations. Our relations are very robust and very important.”

Hisarcıklıoğlu emphasized that, as business communities, want to strengthen the economy aspect, in addition to political and military aspects, of Turkey and US relations by trading and investing more. Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that “The strength of Turkey-US relations is as important for Europe and the Middle East as it is for Turkey and the US. TOBB and the US Chamber of Commerce will continue to work with this vision. We strive to contribute to solutions to problems faced by our companies in their activities in Turkey or, conversely, in their activities in the USA.”

- Minister Zeybekci

Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci also pointed to Turkey-US relations. 

Pointing to the importance of relations between the two countries, Zeybekci said, “The more elevated economic and strategic relations between the United States and Turkey are, the stronger political and diplomatic relations will be.

We know very well the potential of the US economy. That is why we have assigned our trade relations with the American economy a strategic priority as the Ministry. This is how it’s been in 2016; this is how it will be until 2019.”

Noting that commercial relations between the two countries are not at the desired level yet, Zeybekci said, “As of 2002, Turkey has received 174 billion USD of foreign direct investment, of which the USA’s share is only 8%, second behind Netherlands.”

- “Speculative wave will not be able to overcome economic measures”

Minister Zeybekci pointed out that Turkey's macroeconomic bases are intact and said, “There is a wall of macroeconomic measures to break the speculative wave being attempted to be created in Turkey.”

Zeybekci also emphasized that Turkey will follow a proactive roadmap for 2017.

- US Deputy Ambassador Kosnett

“US institutions continue to support investments in Turkey,” said US Deputy Ambassador to Ankara Philip Kosnett, reporting that over 60 US-based companies use Turkey as a regional center to reach wider markets.

Stating that there are over 1,400 companies in Turkey, Kosnett said, “These provide employment to over 60,000 people, paying over 7 billion TRY each year in taxes. In the last 10 years, US-Turkish trade has increased significantly. US institutions continue to support investments in Turkey.”

Kosnett stated that US companies have benefited from Turkey’s economic center role in the Middle East and Central Asia, particularly in regards to investments in the health, construction, infrastructure and energy sectors.

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