Turkish businesses plan to hire Syrian refugees in labor-intensive sectors, eyeing US market
ISTANBUL - Anadolu Agency
AA photoThe head of the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEİK) has said Syrian refugees in Turkey should be hired in labor-intensive sectors and the products they produce should be sold to the U.S. market, benefiting from a customs-free agreement.
“We are researching whether it is possible to hire Syrian refugees, especially in the textiles industry, by using only raw materials from the United States and selling back to the U.S. products they produce customs-free,” said DEİK Chair Ömer Cihad Vardan.
Vardan said they would discuss this idea with businesspeople at the U.S.-Turkey Framework for Strategic Economic and Commercial Cooperation meeting and would offer it to the both governments as a recommendation if it is accepted.
Speaking to reporters on May 17, he noted that the cooperation meeting was first launched in 2009 after U.S. President Barack Obama’s Turkey visit, adding that it included 11 companies from each country, totaling 22.
“They come together and make recommendations to the governments in order to boost bilateral ties,” Vardan added.
“One idea is to create a mechanism to enable Syrians in Turkey to find jobs, and another is to pave the way to increase textiles exports to the U.S. Can we develop a mechanism to make this possible? We currently face customs duties when entering the U.S. market, as well as quotas in textiles, and we are selling goods at lower amounts than we did in the past,” he said.
“If this idea is not welcomed, we will develop another. Maybe we will suggest: ‘Let’s hire Syrians here and use your cotton. In this way you win, the Syrians win, and we win.’ We are trying to create such mechanisms,” the DEİK head added.