U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker today co-chaired the third meeting of the U.S.-Turkey Framework for Strategic Economic and Commercial Cooperation (FSECC) at the Department of Commerce with U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman. The Turkish delegation was led by Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan and Minister of the Economy Nihat Zeybekci.
"The ties among our businesses and our citizens have never been more vibrant," Secretary Pritzker said. "Bilateral trade between the United States and Turkey has nearly tripled in the past decade to $19 billion, but we can do much more to create the conditions for prosperity and good jobs in both countries. We all realize that the long-term economic goals for both our countries are increasingly intertwined, and we must continue to support each other and utilize our partnership to identify opportunities and resolve challenges in order to achieve those goals."
Today's meeting focused on issues that will expand the commercial relationship between Turkey and the United States, including promoting greater bilateral investment; creating a stronger business climate in areas such as public procurement and the pharmaceutical industry; and helping more businesses explore opportunities in fast-growing sectors like infrastructure, clean energy, aerospace, and defense.
As part of President Obama's National Export Initiative, Turkey is a priority market for greater trade and investment opportunities. U.S. exports to Turkey totaled $12.1 billion in 2013, making it the 26th largest U.S. export market. In fact, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Global Markets and Director General of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service Arun Kumar led his first trade mission to Turkey earlier this month to elevate export opportunities. Kumar and 17 U.S. medical technologies and healthcare services companies explored potential partnerships with Turkish companies during visits to Ankara, Izmir, and Istanbul.
The FSECC was created following the first meeting between President Obama and Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan in April 2009. The two leaders tasked the U.S. and Turkish governments with creating a framework to substantially increase the trade and investment flows between both countries and to further strengthen our bilateral economic and commercial partnership.
Secretary Pritzker Announces Upcoming Visit to Turkey and Poland
Secretary Pritzker also announced today that she and the President's Export Council (PEC) Vice Chair Ursula Burns, Chairman and CEO of Xerox Corporation, will lead a group of PEC members on a trip to Turkey and Poland this September. The delegation will meet with senior government officials and business leaders in both countries and will issue a trip report on enhancing bilateral commercial activity and identifying new business opportunities.
The PEC is the principal national advisory committee on international trade that advises the President on government policies and programs related to U.S. trade and export promotion.