A Turkish taxi in New York
Trade volume between the United States and Turkey was $16 billion in 2010 and it has reached $20 billion in 2012.
However, despite the growth in the trade volume, the trade balance between Ankara and Washington, due to Turkey’s excess purchases in defense and security fields, is in favor of the U.S. by far.
As a matter of fact, President Abdullah Gül highlighted this imbalance in the trade volume during his meeting with the U.S. President Barack Obama at the NATO summit last week. He cited, as an example, the developing trade relations between Russia and Turkey and said concrete advances should be recorded in economic relations between the U.S. and Turkey.
The trade relations between the U.S. and Turkey not being at the desired level is a subject that has been debated for years.
During the joint conference of the Turkish American Business Council (TAİK) and American Turkish Council (ATC) to be held in Washington June 10 to 13, economic relations as well as political relations will be tackled.
At a dinner attended by the head of the Turkish American Business Council, Haluk Dinçer, and members of its executive board, the reason American capital was in no rush to come to Turkey was questioned.
The executive managing director and board member of Uni-Mar Energy Investments, Enver Güney, referred to the report prepared by the Boston Consulting Group for TAİK. According to the information provided by Güney, 65 percent of American multinational companies are not present in Turkey.
Matters such as continuously changing regulations and violation of copyrights are at the top of the complaints of American capital about Turkey.
On the other side of the medallion is a problem about exported goods from Turkey. Executive board member of TAİK Davut Öğütçü emphasizes that goods to be exported to the United States have to be “qualified” based on the findings of the McKinsey report that researched trade relations with the U.S. in depth.
Italy and Spain for example, are two countries that have achieved exportation to the U.S. with their original technology and original design. “The American market is a market that demands the best quality at the lowest price,” Öğütçü said.
There is a company in Turkey that has discovered this feature of this market and that has achieved a success story: Ford Otosan.
General Manager of Ford Otosan Haydar Yenigün summarized this success story as such: “When Ford Otosan made its first export to the United States in 2009, there was serious doubt. Today, we have broken export records; we exported the 100,000th vehicle the other day.”
Ford Otosan has exported 800 “Transit Connect” taxis last year, 400 of which are to be used in New York.
Yenigün told an interesting anecdote about “Transit Connect,” which has won “vehicle of the year” awards for its design, craftsmanship and quality in many of the countries it has been exported to.
“In my last New York trip, I took a taxi which was produced by us at Ford Otosan. I asked the taxi driver why he chose this vehicle. He said, ‘It is very economic.’ He then added, ‘Do you know this vehicle comes from Turkey?’ This is an extremely flattering event.”