More US defense firms eye Turkey, envoy says
Özgür Ekşi ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
A Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II stealth fighter lands at the Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland. US. ‘Our mission in Turkey sees a lot of opportunities for American firms to grow in the defense and aerospace sectors,’ says US Ambassador to Ankara Francis J. Ricciardone, underlining the rapidly growing trade relations. REUTERS photoThe United States has started a new promotional approach for U.S. companies to increase bilateral trade volume between the U.S. and Turkey. Giant defense companies like Lockheed Martin and Boeing as well as small and medium-size companies are invited to enter Turkey. Small and medium-size companies will visit Turkey for the first time.
An Internet seminar was recently held in which Undersecretary of Commerce Francisco Sanchez promoted the trade mission, and U.S. Ambassador to Ankara Francis J. Ricciardone said, “Last year, Turkey was the second-fastest growing economy in the world and one of the top 15 aerospace markets for U.S. exporters. Our mission in Turkey sees a lot of opportunities for American firms to grow in the defense and aerospace sectors, building on our 34 percent growth in bilateral trade last year. We encourage American firms to join the Aerospace and Defense Trade Mission scheduled for Dec. 3 to 7, 2012 in Ankara and Istanbul, where our mission’s Commercial Service will connect American firms with potential Turkish partners.”
The attendance of the webinar was more than initial estimations as it turned out to be two times more than similar webinars all over the world. The U.S. Embassy trade mission is hopeful for the project as 138 companies attended the webinar and the embassy plans to organize a mission with a minimum 15 companies’ participation. Seven companies have already applied to take part in the mission and the embassy will screen for eligible candidates.
The U.S. Embassy is now looking forward to having the American-Turkish Council take place in the U.S. as it will be another step toward the trade mission. They think Turkey is a multi-billion dollar market for aerospace and defense products.
Giant and small firms competing
The participants ranged from larger manufacturers of aerospace and defense products like Boeing, Sikorsky and Lockheed Martin to small and medium-size aerospace and defense manufacturers and suppliers. Companies were mostly interested about market entry, best prospects, procurement methods and third country opportunities.