Türkiye, U.S. trade momentum can reach $100 bln: Erdoğan
“Our trade volume in the eight months of this year increased by nearly 30 percent compared to the same period of the previous year and reached $22 billion. If this momentum is maintained with the right and determined steps, our trade volume will reach the target of $100 billion in a short time,” Erdoğan said at a meeting with Turkish and American businesspeople hosted by Türkiye-U.S. Business Council (TAIK).
He said that the close interest shown by U.S.-based companies in business opportunities in Türkiye and the increase in their investments are a manifestation of the confidence in the Turkish economy.
Direct investments from the U.S. to Türkiye reached $14.1 billion, while investments of Turkish companies in the U.S. amounted to $8.6 billion, he added.
There are mutual trade and investment opportunities between Türkiye and the U.S. in almost every sector, he said. “Türkiye also has a key role in diversifying routes and resources for energy security. Considering the current international conjuncture, our cooperation potential in the field of energy offers us important opportunities.”
As a result of Türkiye’s investments in its natural gas infrastructure, including LNG terminals, the U.S. has become the country’s second-largest natural gas supplier, the president said.
“We also became the sixth largest importer of American LNG in the world. We want to increase the gas we buy from the U.S. on more favorable terms in the coming period. Thanks to the advanced infrastructure we have, we are ready to cooperate in the delivery of American LNG to the countries of the region,” he stated.
Türkiye offers new investment opportunities in the field of renewable energy by positively distinguishing itself from Europe,” Erdoğan said, noting that tourism was another industry with significant potential.
Türkiye hosted more than 500,000 American tourists in the first seven months of this year thanks to Turkish Airlines, which operates direct flights from Istanbul to 12 destinations in the U.S., Erdoğan said, adding that he believed this number would increase in the coming period.
The trade potential between Türkiye and the U.S. will be realized with the inter-governmental steps to be taken, the president noted.
Protectionist practices such as additional customs duties in the steel and aluminum industry, which the U.S. unilaterally implemented in 2018, continue to adversely affect bilateral trade ties, Erdoğan emphasized.
“The removal of additional taxes in these sectors or the allocation of the quota granted to some other countries to Türkiye will contribute significantly to our joint efforts,” he added.
“Artificial barriers” against the two countries’ alliance are harming cooperation in the defense industry, he said.
“This situation negatively affects the security of the entire NATO geography as well as our commercial relations. This wrong and biased attitude, which develops as a result of the pressure exerted by some lobbies on American decision-makers, which lacks a strategic perspective, actually harms American interests,” Erdoğan said.
“For this reason, it is your cause as well as ours to remove these unilateral and unjustified obstacles as soon as possible,” he said and stressed that Türkiye would continue to strive to develop its economic and commercial relations with the U.S.