Turkish businesses eye US market as trade soars

Turkish businesses eye US market as trade soars

ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
Turkish businesses eye US market as trade soars

Ford, a long-time US investor in Turkey, broke ground for its new plant in Turkey with its local partner Otosan March 20. The number of US firms investing in Turkey is rising.

The number of American firms active in Turkey reached 1,200 this year, up from 800 in 2007, with a total monetary investment of $6 billion, according to the Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists of Turkey (TUSKON).

The total bilateral trade volume has increased more than 100 percent since the financial crisis hit the United States in 2008, now amounting to $21 billion. Interest from American firms in the Turkish real estate industry continues to increase, daily Hürriyet reported yesterday.

“We will visit 23 states to improve trade relations with the United States. Many small and medium enterprises want to do business with the United States, but their biggest problem is establishing contacts,” TUSKON President Rızanur Meral told the Hürriyet during the “Construction Process of the Turkish-American Economic Cooperation” event, which was organized by TUSKON and held in Washington D.C. April 6-10.

According to Meral, American firms have been working towards developing markets in Turkey after the 2008 economic crisis. “First of all, Turkish businesses should know that America is not limited to New York and Chicago. Those are saturated markets, but there are serious business opportunities in other states,” he said.

The Turkish business world should make use of the nearly 50,000 Turkish students currently studying in the United States to significantly increase exports to the country, Meral said, adding that business students were known to closely follow industry developments and possess important knowledge of American industries.

Turkey has started to become a global actor, Secretary of Commerce John Bryson, who also attended the event, told daily Milliyet.

“I went to Turkey as the chief executive officer of Edison International in the 1990s and witnessed the country’s potential. Since then I have seen that Turkey has been growing dramatically. Ankara’s aim to make Turkey one of the 10 largest economies by 2023 is a totally reasonable target,” he said.

Bryson is scheduled to visit Turkey from June 25 to 26, along with U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, in order to attend the “Strategic, Economic and Commercial Cooperation” meeting.

The two countries established a “model partnership” in 2009 during American President Barack Obama’s visit to Turkey.

Report on economic ties
A report on U.S.-Turkey economic relations will be released on April 12 at the “Turkey-USA Business Forum” in Istanbul. The report, titled “U.S.-Turkish Economic Relations in a New Era: Analysis and Recommendations for a Stronger Strategic Partnership,” was prepared by both the Turkish Industry & Business Association (TÜSİAD) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (USCC).

The report analyzes current mutual trade and investments with suggestions on how to improve bilateral economic relations between the two countries.