Invest News DetailToday’s Zaman - United States Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Tom Donohue has said American companies should take notice of the many business opportunities in Turkey, most of which, he underlined, are little known in the US. “American businesses don't know what can be done in Turkey. Our message to those companies is to ‘wake up’. Turkey is now a highly important economic player. And there are huge opportunities for American companies here. Producing first class goods, Turkey has a strategic location and a massive labor force,” Donohue told participants at a meeting organized by the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEİK) in İstanbul. “Both countries [the US and Turkey] want to do more business with each other. So what is keeping us from making this happen? There is a lack of awareness about the business opportunities in Turkey on the part of the US. We are now trying to change the perceptions, and both countries have steps to take to remove barriers before trade,” he said. Turkey has free trade agreements with 15 countries around the world but not with the US, the world's largest economy with a gross domestic product (GDP) of over USD 14 trillion recorded last year. Turkey, on the other hand, ranks 16th in the list of the world's largest economies and has attained one of the fastest growth rates in the past eight to nine years. Between the years 2002 and 2010, Turkey's GDP expanded by over 5 percent on average. It has become the fastest growing economy with a rate of 10.2 percent in the first half of this year. Whereas the total trade volume of the two countries was over USD 4.5 trillion, the amount of goods they sold to each other only totaled USD 15 billion in 2010, reflecting what Donohue on Monday called the “unused potential” between the two countries. “We should not forget about our trade relations, although previously the relations of our countries focused on regional defense and energy. This relation should now reflect Turkey's new regional and global economic role,” said Donohue.