Turkish, US businesspeople remain committed to $100 bln trade target

Turkish, US businesspeople remain committed to $100 bln trade target

Turkish, US businesspeople remain committed to $100 bln trade target

Despite problems at the political level, the Turkish-American Business Council (TAİK) stands committed to increase the two countries’ trade volume to $100 billion, according to Mehmet Ali Yalçındağ, the council’s head.

The Turkish American Conference, which will take place in April in Washington, will be used as another opportunity to bring together the stakeholders and generate appetite to work in order to reach the highly ambitious target.

The representatives of the Turkish business community are hoping that increased trade would help ease the tension between the two countries.

“We keep having problems in relations and there is an erosion of confidence,” said Yalçındağ, speaking at a press conference on Feb.10. “We need to restore confidence. We keep reminding both Turkish and U.S. presidents the need to focus on how to reach the target of $100 billion trade. It is our duty to keep recalling the need to work for a target that they [the two presidents] have set,” he said.

Yalçındağ said they are continuing with a number of activities to better explain the business potential between the two countries and the American Turkish Conference, which will be organized for the 38th time this year, is one of them.

Tourism will be one of the five areas that will be highlighted in this year’s conference according to Yalçındağ. “Instead of bringing tourists directly from the U.S. we are aiming to attract American tourists who are coming to Europe,” said Yalçındağ.

In addition to tourism, energy, construction and infrastructure, digital economy will also be the main areas where the two sides will explore opportunities. The defense industry, which for years has been the main engine of bilateral economic relations, remains as the fifth priority area despite difficulties in this sector.

The U.S. administration decided to exclude Turkey from the joint production of the F-35 new generation warplanes to react to the Turkish government’s purchase of Russian S-400 anti-ballistic missiles.

Finance and Treasury Minister Berat Albayrak is expected to attend the conference as he did last year.