Turkey, US seek to build closer economic links

Turkey, US seek to build closer economic links

CHICAGO - Hürriyet
Turkey, US seek to build closer economic links

Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan (2nd L) and TOBB President Rıfat Hisarcıklıoğlu (2nd R) attend the opening session of theChicago Exchange. AA photo

Turkey and the U.S. plan to develop closer economic and trade ties by taking a series of steps, Turkish officials and their American counterparts announced this week during a series of visits by a Turkish delegation, headed by Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan, for the “Turkey Investment Week II.”

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce will open a representative office in Istanbul, then an American-Turkish Business Council will be established to develop more economic and trade relations between the two countries, Chairman of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB), Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, said on the night of Oct. 24.

“We’ll make a detailed deal with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce soon. They will open a representative office in Istanbul. Then their members will undertake lobby activities for the inclusion of the Turkish side in the planned Transatlantic Agreement on Trade and Investment between the U.S. and the EU,” Hisarcıklıoğlu said.

Then, an American-Turkish Business Council will be established under the framework of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, he noted. “This will enable the two countries’ businesspeople to establish closer ties. Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent will head this organization, through which companies from both countries will make mutual visits to develop cooperation,” he said.

After TOBB and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce had signed a cooperation agreement in 2012, they accelerated their activities to build closer ties, Hisarcıklıoğlu noted.

Middle East dialogue center

Meanwhile, the two organizations will also work together to develop a dialogue center for businesspeople in the Middle East. “A couple of weeks ago, as business representatives from Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Palestine, the U.S. and Turkey, we came together in Istanbul to discuss regional cooperation opportunities. I announce here for the first time we’ll establish a Middle East Trade Dialogue Center, which will be open to all countries in the region,” he said.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce plans to organize a big investment conference in Turkey in 2014 with the attendance of over 500 American businesspeople said Khush Choksy, head for Turkey, Middle East, and North Africa Affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

“We are supporting the establishment of a free trade agreement between the U.S. and Turkey as well as fostering bilateral investments,” he said.