ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
US Assistant Secretary of Commerce Michael Camunez hails the economic exchange between the US and Turkey. More ventures are in the pipeline. Hürriyet photo
Sibel Utku Bila
Turkish and U.S. companies have entered into joint ventures worth more than $2 billion since December and efforts are underway to further boost economic exchange, in line with the two countries’ vision of a “model partnership,” U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce Michael Camunez said yesterday.
Camunez declined to comment on Turkey’s decision to cut down its oil imports from Iran
by 20 percent, but said the U.S. could help Turkey decrease its dependence on foreign energy supplies in general. “The United States has a strong interest in reducing Turkey’s reliance on foreign oil and therefore its vulnerability to price shocks. We think that American
technologies and companies can help Turkey achieve that goal through greater reliance on renewable energy and better energy-efficiency technologies,” he told reporters. “The U.S.-Turkish commercial relationship is growing stronger every day. The question now is how to make it stronger,” Camunez said, announcing that further action would be discussed at high-level bilateral talks in late June.
Trade Secretary John Bryson and Trade Representative Ron Kirk will both travel to Ankara
for extensive talks under the U.S.-Turkey Framework for Strategic Economic and Commercial Cooperation, to be co-chaired by Turkey’s deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan and Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan.
Camunez, who led a trade mission of executives from leading U.S. energy companies to Turkey in December, said the talks had already produced significant results. The AES Corporation, together with Koç Holding and Oyak, will build a $1.2 billion coal-fuelled power plant in İskenderun by the end of 2016, while Dow Chemical and Turkey’s Aksa have agreed to invest $1 billion in a carbon-fiber manufacturing utility, he said.