For Immediate Release: January 31, 2011
Contact: Tim Truman (202) 482-3809
Commerce Official Michael CamuÑez Advances U.S.-Turkish Commercial and Economic Relationship and Signs MOI With Turkish Government
WASHINGTON – Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Market Access and Compliance Michael Camuñez this week led policy discussions on bilateral trade and investment as well as on enhanced economic and commercial cooperation between the United States and Turkey. This was a joint visit with Assistant Secretary of State Jose Fernandez. The two officials were in Turkey for government and business meetings in Ankara and Istanbul, January 24-28.
Camuñez met with officials from the ministries of Foreign Affairs, Finance, Agriculture, Health, and Treasury as well as the Undersecretariat for Foreign Trade while in Ankara to advance the goals of the US-Turkey Framework for Strategic Economic and Commercial Cooperation (FSECC). Camuñez encouraged the rapid establishment of the Turkish section of the U.S.-Turkey Business Council, the primary mechanism by which the private sector will engage in the FSECC.
Camuñez also signed a Memorandum of Intent (MOI) between the Commerce Department’s Invest in America and the Investment Support and Promotion Agency (ISPAT) of Turkey, promoting cooperation on foreign direct investment activities. Under the terms of the MOI, both parties will act as a central point of contact for existing and potential foreign investors who seek investment opportunities and information on bilateral investment flows. The parties will provide mutual assistance to investors in contacting investment and industry experts in the other country.
The MOI fulfilled a specific commitment the two governments made at the inaugural FSCC meeting
“Having the common objective of facilitating foreign direct investment, we are delighted at the signing of today’s Memorandum of Intent with ISPAT. There already exists a strong U.S. – Turkey commercial relationship, and we look forward to an even closer collaboration and partnership,” Camuñez said.
While in Istanbul, Camuñez met with the Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association, and presented keynote remarks at a luncheon hosted by the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce. Camuñez also presented Turkish Airlines with a certificate of recognition and appreciation for its continued support for mutually profitable U.S. –Turkish business development.
Camuñez also announced that the Department of Commerce will lead two trade missions to Turkey in 2011 – one in June focused on oil and gas and a second mission later in 2011.Through November 2010, U.S. exports to Turkey totaled $9.2 billion, with Turkey ranking as the 26th largest U.S. export market, while imports stood at $3.9 billion. Official U.S. foreign direct investment in Turkey stood at approximately $6.3 billion by the end of 2009. Through the first eleven months of 2010, US merchandise exports to Turkey have increased 46 percent, compared to the same period of 2009, to reach $9.2 billion.
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