President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan came together with around 40 US top executives and international fund managers during his official visit to Washington D.C. on May 16. The US was the fifth stop on his presidential roadshow, which also saw Erdoğan visit India, Russia, Kuwait, China, and Belgium.
During the executive meeting, convened with the coordination of the Prime Ministry Investment Support and Promotion Agency of Turkey (ISPAT), President Erdoğan offered the representatives of US corporate giants insights into Turkey’s economic agenda and invited them to boost their investments in Turkey. Of particular focus were the latest regulations and incentives affecting Turkey’s investment climate.
Attendees included top executives of prominent companies from sectors such as defense-aviation, chemicals, healthcare, ICT, and manufacturing, as well as of major fund management companies. The list of attendees at the meeting included executives from Abraaj Group, Cargill, CDPQ, Coca-Cola, DOW Chemical, EBRD, IFC, GE Aviation, Glaxo Smith Kline, Lockheed Martin, PepsiCo, Raytheon International, and Uber. Also at the meeting were chairmen and presidents of the American-Turkish Council (ATC), the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association (EMPEA), and the US Chamber of Commerce.
Commenting on the event, ISPAT President Arda Ermut said the meeting was of vital importance as it offered the US investors the opportunity to hear first-hand about the Turkish government’s effective and decisive economic policies. Ermut added, “We showcased Turkey’s support for international investors at the highest level by means of this meeting, which brought President Erdoğan together with chairmen and CEOs of leading US companies. In this vein, we saw a huge interest in our country and our President – a result of the substantial support he extended to investors in person. Moreover, President Erdoğan said during the meeting that ISPAT would personally support investors in solution-requiring issues through engagement with relevant ministries and state institutions, and stated that such issues should be directly conveyed to him – points both very inﬂuential on investors.”
Ermut continued, “In similar occasions during March and September 2016, President Erdoğan came together with international investors. Also today, we had quite a productive meeting with significant interest and participation of US companies. Continuation with economic reforms, support from US investors for a Free Trade Agreement between Turkey and the US, investment agendas of technology companies, and the intention of global fund management companies to augment their investments in Turkey provided highlights of the meeting. We witnessed the confidence of international investors in Turkey’s investment climate, political stability, and future vision with respect to the new outlook in the aftermath of constitutional referendum.”
The relation between the two countries is defned as “model partnership” in the fields of politics, military, economy, and humanity. With regard to foreign trade, the US stands out as the 5th largest export market of Turkey, accounting for a 4.6 percent share in Turkish exports. On the investment side, total FDI inﬂow from US to Turkey was USD 2 billion in the period of 2015 and 2016. Meanwhile, bilateral trade volume jumped to USD 17.5 billion in 2016, up from USD 6.5 billion in 2002. There are currently more than 1,700 companies with US capital operating in Turkey as of end-2016.