US firms enter Iraqi market via Turkey
ISTANBUL - Anatolia News Agency
Ekim AlptekinUnited States companies are becoming increasingly active in Iraq via Turkey, according to Ekim Alptekin, the newly elected head of the Turkish American Businessmen Association (TABA/Amcham).
“Despite the fact that American companies have large investments in Iraq, they became active there over Turkish companies,” he said in a recent interview with the Anatolia news agency. “We have already become a bridge between East and West in politics, but we had not achieved this in trade.”
The relation between U.S. President Barack Obama and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is based on mutual trust, Alptekin said.
“This creates an acceleration [in business]. One cannot expect everything from the state. The business world also has some responsibilities. The TABA’s role as a chamber of trade is crucial in this manner. We should make this acceleration permanent by spreading the Istanbul-based partnerships to Anatolia,” he said.
The group is currently working on a process that will ease passport controls for Turkish business people arriving in the U.S.
Jet parts from Turkey
Alptekin is also the chairman of U.S.-based Eclipse Aerospace, which produces small Eclipse jets mainly used by businessmen. Some high value-added parts of the Eclipse 500 jets were produced in Turkey’s Eskişehir, Alptekin noted.
“One wishes that all parts were made in Turkey,” he said, adding that such businesses contributed to the mutual relations between the two countries.
Turkey and the U.S. have cooperated in military issues since the Cold War, Alptekin said, “but we could not develop trade ties in other sectors.”