Top chambers set roadmap to boost Turkey-US trade

Today’s Zaman - Representatives from two of the leading Turkish and US business unions agreed to join powers in a new roadmap to boost trade and investment ties between the two countries in Ankara.

The Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB) and the United States Chamber of Commerce (USCC) came together in Ankara to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to boost commercial relations. Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan, TOBB President Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu and Vice President of Middle East Affairs of the USCC Lionel C. Johnson also participated in the signing ceremony.

The agreement stipulates both sides designate separate business delegates and carry out joint studies on how to bolster trade and investment in visits between one another. One of the critical steps in the deal is that the Turkish side will concentrate on improving trade ties with each US state separately. This means different business delegates will be responsible for different states and carry out studies accordingly.

During US President Barack Obama's visit to Turkey in April 2009, the two NATO allies launched an initiative to boost trade and investment ties as part of what they called a “model partnership.” In December of that year, Ankara and Washington agreed to establish the US-Turkey Strategic Economic and Commercial Cooperation dialogue platform, aimed at realizing the same goal.

The number of US firms investing in Turkey increased by 50 percent to 1,200 in 2012 from 2007. Many US firms consider Turkey as a springboard to the African, Middle Eastern and all regional markets.

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