For Immediate Release: September 19, 2011
Contact: Mary Trupo (202) 482-3809
Obama Trade Official Underscores U.S.-Turkey Trade Relations
Under Secretary Sánchez Co-Chairs Inaugural U.S.-Turkey Business Council Meeting
ISTANBUL –Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Francisco Sánchez and Turkey’s Under Secretary for Economy Ahmet Yakici today co-chaired the inaugural U.S.-Turkey Business Council meeting in Istanbul. The Council brought together 16 U.S. and Turkish business leaders to provide joint policy recommendations to both governments on ways to strengthen bilateral economic relations for expanded trade and investment.
“While our close government-to-government ties are essential, our companies are ultimately conducting the business necessary for economic development,” Sánchez said. “Strong involvement of the private sector is critical to our goal of increasing U.S.-Turkey trade and investment.”
According to the latest trade figures, through July 2011, total trade with Turkey reached almost $12 billion, a nearly 50 percent increase from the same period last year. If this trend continues, full year 2011 bilateral trade will break all previous records. Through July, U.S. exports to Turkey totaled $8.8 billion.
During his closing remarks, Sánchez noted that the Council’s recommendations from this first meeting “will lead to action tomorrow and greater economic opportunities in the future.”
Turkey is a priority market under President Obama’s National Export Initiative. Increasing trade and investment ties with this trading partner will help achieve the president’s goal of doubling U.S. exports by the end of 2014, supporting millions of U.S. jobs, while also improving the Turkish people’s access to the world-class products and services of American businesses.
“Growth, prosperity, and economic stability in Turkey are important to both the United States and Turkish economies,” Sánchez said. “We look forward to working with the Turkish public and private sectors to move toward Prime Minister Erdogan’s goal of becoming a top 10 economy by 2023.”
Istanbul was the second stop in Sanchez’s initial visit to Turkey. While in Ankara last week, Sánchez met with Turkish government officials to discuss improving the U.S.-Turkey commercial relationship and expanding U.S. export opportunities.
Sánchez will return to Turkey, December 5-9, 2011, when he leads a U.S. trade delegation to Ankara, Istanbul, and Izmir, to promote U.S. goods, services, and technologies in the renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors.
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