Businesses urge ‘turning white page’ in Ankara-Washington relations
A group of Turkish and American businesses has sent a joint letter to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his U.S. counterpart, Joe Biden, ahead of the two’s meeting on June 14.
“Highlighting the areas in which our two countries cooperate can provide space to start resolving some of the more pressing differences we face and thus turning a white page,” said the letter signed by Turkey-U.S. Business Council (TAİK) and AmCham Turkey, which represents over 110 U.S. companies operating in Turkey.
“Business is something we do well together, so we sincerely hope that you will use this as a platform to build a common ground in your upcoming meeting,” it added.
Erdoğan and Biden are slated to meet on June 14 on the sidelines of a NATO summit in Brussels.
In a video call on May 26, Erdoğan told CEOs of some 20 prominent U.S. companies that Ankara and Washington should bring mechanisms for economic strategy and partnership to life and that he is aiming for a $100 billion trade volume between the two countries.
While noting that Biden’s comments on 1915 events brought an additional burden on U.S.-Turkey relations, he asked the U.S. to take more constructive steps amid additional tariffs on aluminum and steel.
“From Syria to Libya, from fighting against terrorism to energy, and from trade to investments, we have a serious potential of cooperation with the U.S.,” he said.
The letter signed by TAİK head Mehmet Ali Yalçındağ and AmCham Turkey chair Tankut Turnaoğlu also called for closer cooperation.
“American and Turkish companies have demonstrated that there are abundant opportunities to prosper together through partnership and much to lose if we drift too far apart,” the letter said.
Turkey can be a good fit in international trade for the U.S. as supply chains are transforming amid the coronavirus pandemic and the U.S.-China trade disputes, Yalçındağ said in an online press conference yesterday.
“We think that our country, with the help of its geopolitical position and strong institutions, can play a more active role during the transformation of global supply chains,” he said.
Turnaoğlu said that the investments of U.S. companies in Turkey passed $50 billion and they provided employment to nearly 100,000 people.
Special incentives for investments in automation, digital transformation and high-tech production, as well as preparing preferential and free trade agreements are on the agenda, he added.