BY BESTENIGAR KARA
Turkey has hit the button to seize further opportunities to enter the U.S., the world’s largest economy with a GDP of USD 25tr. Information technology, biotechnology, and renewable energy offer collaboration opportunities between Turkey and the U.S., while Trade Ministry included the U.S. in its Far Countries Strategy.
The Turkish economy contains vast untapped potential in the 21st century, according to the U.S. Consul General in Istanbul, Julie A. Eadeh. Speaking at the Turkey as a Resilient Partner: Past to Future Summit, Eadeh said both the U.S. and Turkey have embraced the digital revolution. “It leads to unprecedented opportunities for collaboration in areas such as information technology, biotechnology, and renewable energy,” Eadeh noted.
Turkey as a Resilient Partner: Past to Future Summit hosted by the American Business Forum in Turkey (AmCham Turkey) was held on December 14 in Istanbul. The event focused on Turkish-American relations, which date back to 1830, on the 100th anniversary of the Turkish Republic.
Speaking at the event, Eadeh stated that the U.S.-Turkey relationship is not merely about exchanging goods and services; it reflects a shared commitment to progress, growth, and mutual benefit. “It’s essential that we continue to collaborate to ensure regulatory alignment and creating environments so that all industries can thrive,” Eadeh said, stressing that they will always support American businesses operating in Turkey with leading Turkish firms and with Turkish SMEs to build a vibrant and sustainable economy.
REPRESENTS USD 60BN U.S. INVESTMENT
AmCham Turkey Chairman Tankut Turnaoglu said AmCham Turkey operates to be a power to carry Turkey to the global markets with its more than 130 members. “As AmCham Turkey, we represent an investment of over USD 60bn in Turkey,” Turnaoglu noted. To him, to protect and increase existing investments of the U.S. in Turkey, support Turkey as a regional hub for the U.S.-based companies for Eurasia, the Middle East, and Southern Europe, to ensure higher participation of SMEs in its ecosystem in the global value chain, to contribute talent development worldwide and provide active support for integration of Turkey into climate change, sustainability, and digitalization programs are the top five priorities to achieve the goal to carry Turkey to the global markets.
THE U.S. INCLUDED IN THE FAR COUNTRIES STRATEGY
AmCham Turkey plays a crucial role in conveying the firms’ expectations to the public and the U.S. sides, with its structure representing an export volume of over USD 10bn and employment of around 100,000 people, according to Deputy Trade Minister Mustafa Tuzcu. “The Turkish economy, which has grown consecutively for 13 quarters, expanded 5.5% in 2022 and 5.9% in Q3 2023. International institutions state that the Turkish economy would continue to grow in the upcoming period,” Tuzcu noted. Touching on international trade, which has slowed due to regional and global developments, Tuzcu said many American firms have started to relocate their production centers to Turkey and use the country as the supply base following these developments. Stressing that the bilateral trade volume of Turkey and the U.S. hovered around USD 37-38bn in 2022, Tuzcu added: “The U.S. is Turkey’s second-largest export market. The bilateral trade target of USD 100bn, which we set a few years ago, seems more achievable now.”
The Deputy Trade Minister emphasized that Turkey’s exports to the U.S. hover around USD 17-18bn. “It can be considered high for Turkey’s overall exports. However, the figure is still low considering the U.S. imports of USD 3tr and GDP of USD 25tr. We must evaluate the opportunities to penetrate the U.S. market more strongly. As the Trade Ministry, we included the U.S. in our Far Countries Strategy within this frame.”
Presidential Investment Office Vice President Bekir Polat also delivered a speech at the event where Industry and Technology Deputy Minister Zekeriya Costu, AmCham Uzbekistan Chair Oybek Khalilov, AmCham Azerbaijan Chairwoman Nargiz Nasrullayeva-Muduroglu, CEOs and top executives of AmCham Turkey members attended. The summit was concluded with panels.
Bilateral trade volume exceeds USD 25bn in January-October
The U.S. is Turkey’s second-largest export and the fifth-largest import market. The bilateral trade volume between Turkey and the U.S. has reached USD 25.34bn as of the end of the first ten months of this year, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat). Jewelry, machinery, mechanical devices and equipment, and land motor vehicles are Turkey’s top three export products to the U.S., while mineral fuels, oil, iron and steel, machinery, mechanical devices, and equipment are the top import products by the U.S. to Turkey.