Turkey and US strike new deal to boost bilateral trade

Turkey and US strike new deal to boost bilateral trade

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkey and US strike new deal to boost bilateral trade

Deputy PM Babacan (2nd R), TOBB President Hisarcıklıoğlu (R), Johnson, vice president of Middle East Affairs at the US Chamber of Commerce and US envoy Ricciardone join the ceremony. AA photo

Leading business organizations in Turkey and the United States marked a concrete step toward improving bilateral commercial relations between the two countries by signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in Ankara on Dec. 14.

The MoU on improving commercial relations between Turkey and the United States was signed by the head of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB), Rıfat Hisarcıklıoğlu, and Lionel C. Johnson, vice president of Middle East Affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, at a ceremony held at the prime ministry building with the participation of Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan.

The memorandum will pave the way for new market opportunities for both sides and will particularly be useful in expanding export markets during a period of crisis, Babacan said at the ceremony, announcing that a “Turkey Week” program will be held in the United States to bring together representatives of the Turkish and U.S. business world.

The MoU will define the activities of the next 18 months, but Babacan considers this “just a warm-up exercise.”
The first Turkish business delegation as part of this MoU will travel to Washington during Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s first upcoming visit to the U.S. capital, Babacan said, noting that “Turkey Week” would be organized in different states and cities consecutively.

Meanwhile, he also cautioned that the global economic and financial crisis was still ongoing, highlighting the long-term impacts of the crisis.

“This crisis is not over yet. Even if we say that the crisis is resolved or being resolved, traces of this crisis will continue for years, particularly regarding the banking system and public finance,” he said.

“Each country needs to rapidly diversify its economic structure and markets and at the same time to expand its basis of investment. Here, I believe that this cooperation will develop new market opportunities and will be useful for expanding export markets in particular during this crisis period,” Babacan said, emphasizing the importance of increasing mutual investments.

“I believe that this positive acceleration will continue and gain more strength in the upcoming years,” Babacan said.

The signing of the memorandum is actually a part of “the Framework for Strategic Economic and Commercial Cooperation” between the two countries, aiming for high-level consultation on economic and commercial issues and first outlined by Turkish President Abdullah Gül and U.S. President Barack Obama in April 2009.