Posts Tagged ‘Turkey’

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Turkish Market Holds Opportunity for U.S. Businesses

December 13, 2012

Kristin Najdi is a Senior International Trade Specialist at the International Trade Administration

Last week, I had the opportunity to accompany Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Francisco Sánchez as he led a trade mission of 18 aerospace and defense companies to Ankara and Istanbul, Turkey. The trade mission helped connect U.S. businesses with Turkish partners to identify export opportunities, but also to strengthen the commercial and strategic ties between our two countries.

Strategically positioned at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and the Middle East, Turkey is a high priority market for the United States. With a population of more than 70 million, Turkey continues to be a vital economic hub for the region—with real GDP growth estimated at 8.2 percent in 2011, making it one of the fastest growing economies in the G-20.

President Obama’s April 2009 visit to Turkey – his first overseas trip – emphasized the importance of closer commercial ties between our two countries and continues to reap economic benefits. In fact, total bilateral U.S.-Turkey merchandise trade reached nearly $20 billion last year – an all-time record – and a 34 percent increase over the previous year.

Here at the International Trade Administration (ITA), we take pride in playing a key role in making it easier for U.S. companies to do business around the world, including in Turkey.  To support this effort, Under Secretary Sanchez spoke at “The Ease of Doing Business Symposium” in Ankara, which was co-organized by ITA.  During his presentation he highlighted challenges and opportunities in the Turkish market, and proposed concrete reforms.  He also held various bilateral meetings with his counterparts in the Turkish government to discuss ways of further strengthening our bilateral commercial relations.

Another key outcome of this trip was Under Secretary Sánchez’s announcement of the new U.S. private sector members of the U.S.-Turkey Business Council.  The Council is made up of senior-level executives from the United States and Turkey and provides joint policy recommendations to both governments on ways to strengthen bilateral economic relations.

U.S. businesses on this mission—with their innovative technologies and services—are well- positioned to help support Turkey’s aerospace and defense sectors. For example, the mission included a world leader in the design, manufacture, and marketing of thermal imaging and stabilized camera systems; a company with a strong set of businesses specializing in global infrastructure and finance; and well-known commercial jet and military aerospace manufacturers.

Our mission delegation was especially enthusiastic about the Turkish market for U.S. suppliers seeking joint-venture opportunities, including expanding opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises in the United States to support the continued modernization of the Turkish Armed Forces.

We also focused on the growing civil aviation market. Turkey, with its strategic geographic location, is located three hours by plane to 1.5 billion people and $23 trillion in GDP, and Turks have increasingly come to rely on domestic and international air service over the past years. Since 2002, there has been a 372 percent increase in domestic passenger traffic, a 77 percent increase in international passenger traffic and a 153 percent increase in total (domestic & international) passenger traffic. Overall, 329 private airline companies operate in the Turkish aerospace industry, 17 of which are Turkish. These companies are creating demand for aircraft parts as well as safety equipment, training and management – all of which are goods and services U.S. companies are well-poised to provide.

This trip was a great success in many respects.  It opened doors for new business opportunities for U.S. companies and continued Commerce’s high-level engagement with the Turkish Government to strengthen our bilateral economic and commercial relationship.

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Participants in the Renewable Energy Trade Mission to Turkey Find Business Partnerships

January 9, 2012

Ryan Barnes is an International Trade Specialist in the Office of European Country Affairs within the Market Access and Compliance division of the International Trade Administration.

Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Trade Delegation to Turkey, December 5-9, 2011

Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Trade Delegation to Turkey, December 5-9, 2011

Just last month, I accompanied Michael Camuñez, Assistant Secretary for Market Access and Compliance as he led 16 U.S. Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency companies on a Trade Mission to Turkey. The delegation included U.S. energy firms as well as officials from Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee (TPCC) agencies: Export-Import Bank, Overseas Private Investment Corporation, U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Trade and Development Agency. The delegation visited Ankara, Izmir and Istanbul, where numerous opportunities exist for these firms.

The staff of the International Trade Administration recruited a variety of companies for the mission.  The group included energy giants such as General Electric, Johnson Controls, and AES as well as nine small and medium-sized enterprises on the leading edge of renewable energy technology.  Of the sixteen firms, whose products range from solar panels to cooling systems, eleven had never before done business in Turkey.  One firm, World Business Capital, was also there to provide financing.

The mission’s main objective was to introduce the participants to potential Turkish business partners.  U.S. firms met with numerous Turkish counterparts in one-on-one meetings to discuss possible joint venture opportunities.  More than 340 of these business to business matchmaking meetings took place during the five-day mission. 

The trade mission could not have come at a better time.  Bilateral trade between the U.S. and Turkey is set to break records in 2011, with projections of roughly $20 billion in total trade.  And the energy sector, in particular, is ripe for U.S. trade and investment.  Turkish energy demand is due to grow at a rate of seven to nine percent annually.  To help accommodate this growing demand, the Turkish government will invest roughly $130 billion by 2023, and has placed a great deal of emphasis on renewable energy.  Ankara has plans to achieve 30 percent renewable energy production by 2023, and has called for $40 billion in investment in this sector by 2020. Turkey also passed an updated renewable energy law in December 2010 to provide even further investment incentives.

The U.S. Government has worked to develop this burgeoning market.  In addition to the trade mission, there is a newly launched interagency project known as the “Near Zero Zone”.  This project, led by the U.S. Department of Energy, is helping industrial companies operating within the Izmir Ataturk Organized Industrial Zone (IAOSB) reduce their energy usage through a series of cost-effective efficiency upgrades.  One of key stops during the trade mission was to this Near Zero Zone site in Izmir.

The trade mission, along with the Near Zero Zone, helped with the formation of business partnerships and provided opportunities to match high quality U.S. supply with growing Turkish energy demand.  The potential for mutual gain in this arena is enormous.  Already, trade mission participants have reported a potential $40 million in business deals.   We hope this is just the beginning.

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Inaugural U.S.-Turkey Business Council Meets in Istanbul

October 4, 2011

By Mary Trupo, Director of Public Affairs for the International Trade Administration.

The inaugural meeting of the U.S.-Turkey Business Council was held September 19 in Istanbul, Turkey. It 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.

The council was established in late 2010, and is made up of senior-level executives from both countries, who meet at least once a year. The meeting in Istanbul was cochaired by Francisco Sánchez, under secretary of commerce for international trade, and Ahmet Yakici, Turkey’s under secretary for economy.

The importance of improving commercial ties between the two countries was underscored by Sánchez in remarks to attendees, “While our close government-to-government ties are essential, our companies are ultimately conducting the business necessary for economic development. 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 U.S. trade with Turkey reached almost $12 billion. This represented a nearly 50 percent increase over the same period in 2010. If this trend continues, full-year 2011 bilateral trade between the United States and Turkey will likely break all previous records. Through July, U.S. exports to Turkey totaled $8.8 billion.

Turkey is a priority market under President Obama’s National Export Initiative (NEI). Increasing trade and investment ties with this trading partner will help achieve the NEI’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 U.S. businesses.

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Featured Trade Event: Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Executive Business Development Mission

September 9, 2011

December 5–9
Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Executive Business Development Mission
Ankara, Istanbul, and Izmir, Turkey

Istanbul, Turkey: the blue mosque and Hagia Sofia at sunset (© yusuf anil akduygu/iStock)

Istanbul, Turkey: the blue mosque and Hagia Sofia at sunset (© yusuf anil akduygu/iStock)

In 2010, the federal government’s Renewable Energy Export Initiative identified Turkey as a priority market for U.S. exporters in the renewable energy and energy efficiency industries. This mission will focus on opportunities for U.S. companies active in those fields. Francisco Sánchez, under secretary for international trade, will lead the event and will be accompanied by a senior representative from the U.S. Export–Import Bank and participants from 15 to 20 U.S. firms.

Turkey’s market is ripe with possibilities for U.S. companies selling renewable energy and energy efficiency products and services. Energy demand in Turkey is expected to grow between 5 and 7 percent annually until 2023. Such growth will require more than $100 billion of investment in power generation, transmission, and distribution. Turkey already has several large geothermal, wind energy, and hydroelectric projects in development and has enacted renewable energy and energy efficiency laws that call for increased investment in those technologies.

Overall, Turkey is a fertile and growing market for U.S. exports. In 2010, the United States exported more than $10 billion in goods to Turkey, a 40 percent increase over 2009. The Department of Commerce projects that this trend will continue in 2011, with U.S. exports to Turkey expected to reach $12 billion.

Participants in the trade mission will benefit from a variety of events tailored to their needs, including 10 to 15 prescheduled meetings with potential partners, distributors, and end users; a networking reception at the U.S. ambassador’s residence; one-on-one meetings with key government decisionmakers; and briefings by energy specialists from the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service (USFCS) in Ankara, Istanbul, and Izmir.

The cost to participate in the trade mission is $4,055 for large firms and $3,285 for small and medium-sized firms (with 500 employees or fewer). There is a $500 fee for each additional company representative, regardless of company size. Mission participants are responsible for travel, lodging, most meals, and incidentals. Applications must be received by October 17, 2011. For more information about the trade mission, visit its Web site or contact Glen Roberts of the USFCS, tel.: (559) 348-9859; e-mail: glen.roberts@trade.gov, or Serdar Cetinkaya of the USFCS, tel.: +90 (312) 457 7203; e-mail: serdar.cetinkaya@trade.gov.

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80 U.S. Companies Test the European Market in Poland

April 23, 2009

Rochelle J. Lipsitz is the Acting Assistant Secretary for Trade Promotion and the Director General of the U. S. and Foreign Commercial Service.

I am writing to you live from Warsaw, Poland, here with 80 U.S. companies at our third Annual Trade Winds Forum.

Did you know this year is the U.S.’s 90th year of diplomatic relations with Poland? It’s amazing to consider how far Poland has come since the years of Woodrow Wilson. Today, Poland’s economy is one of the best performers in Europe and, despite the global economic crisis, it is still growing at about 1% per annum, while many countries are still struggling. In addition to having a stable government and about $15 billion of U.S. investment, it serves as an anchor market for U.S. companies trying to sell to Central and Eastern Europe – which is why the U.S. Commercial Service and our clients are here.

Acting Assistant Secretary for Trade Promotion and Director General of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service Rochelle J. Lipsitz (left) with representatives from U.S. company Taking the Waters, a spa treatment company, at the Trade Winds Forum in Warsaw, Poland.

Acting Assistant Secretary for Trade Promotion and Director General of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service Rochelle J. Lipsitz (left) with representatives from U.S. company Taking the Waters, a spa treatment company, at the Trade Winds Forum in Warsaw, Poland. (U.S. Department of Commerce Photo)

Eighty U.S. companies have joined us to participate in more than 800 individual meetings with our Senior Commercial Officers from 28 U.S. Embassies across Europe who are giving them an individual assessment of sales opportunities in countries from Portugal to Kazakhstan. During the three meetings I have been able to observe so far, clients and Officers discussed market potential and how to find business partners. They compared notes on trade shows and discussed logistics. And, a lot of discussion focused on how to get paid – especially in our current credit crunch. Throughout these back-to-back, 20-minute counseling sessions – which looked a lot like speed dating – the company representatives were able to learn how their products would fare in various countries and the steps they should take to successfully enter the market. The room was just buzzing with energy! The goal is that the U.S. companies will walk away from these two days with a strategy for selling throughout Europe.

We don’t only want them to take home a strategy though, but business too. So we’ve also arranged nearly 400 meetings for the U.S. companies with Polish buyers and potential partners. Nearly 40% of the companies attending the Trade Winds Forum are repeat attendees who were at last year’s program in Istanbul, Turkey. Firms from that event reported dozens of export sales as a result of their meetings, and we look forward to the same great results this year.

When the event is done, the U.S. Commercial Service will have arranged nearly 1,200 meetings for these U.S. companies to help them increase their international sales! Why do we do this, you ask? Because increasing international sales stimulates our economy by creating higher-paying jobs at home.

I look forward to writing again about how the U.S. Commercial Service is helping U.S. companies sell overseas…. Maybe next time you’ll be here too!

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