Turkey eager for free trade deal with US

Turkey eager for free trade deal with US

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkey eager for free trade deal with US

TOBB President Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu speaks during the tenth Meeting of the Turkey-US Economic Partnership Commission. AA photo

The head of a leading business association in Turkey has expressed the eagerness of the business world for a free trade agreement (FTA) with the U.S., a critical point discussed as part of Prime Minister Erdoğan’s recent meeting with U.S. President Obama at the White House.

The remarks by the president of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB), Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, came on May 23 at a working luncheon hosted by his union on the occasion of the Tenth Meeting of the Turkey-U.S. Economic Partnership Commission.

Hisarcıklıoğlu elaborated on the importance they attached to establishing a FTA with the U.S., similar to what U.S. is in the process of signing with the EU and its impact on tightening economic ties between two countries. Recalling the “model partnership” between the U.S. and Turkey, he emphasized their willingness to go further. “The economic aspect of our relationship has begun to gain more meaning. It is becoming deeper,” he said.

“In the four years I have been in this position I have seen a positive trend in the level of interest in U.S. and Turkish companies in doing business together,” said the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs Jose Fernandez Fernandez, noting that there were also tremendous opportunities for U.S. and Turkish companies to collaborate on the upcoming infrastructure projects that the Turkish government is planning such as the new airport in Istanbul and putting information technology in schools present opportunities for partnerships with leading U.S. companies.

Hisarcıklıoğlu indicated their willingness to participate in the “Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement” (TAFTA), also touted as the “Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership” (TTIP).