WASHINGTON, March 31, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Twenty one CEOs of American Fortune 100 companies met yesterday with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Turkish ministers in a roundtable meeting hosted by the Investment Support and Promotion Agency (ISPAT) and the Turkey-U.S. Business Council (TAIK), a not-for-profit organization that operates under the umbrella of Turkey's Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK).
The meeting was followed by a gala event celebrating the decades-long strategic relations between the two countries. Building on a strong political foundation, the commercial relationship has reached $20 billion in annual trade flow and nearly $50 billion in accumulated investments in Turkey by American companies1. Both events transpired at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium, a symbolic venue that hosted both the establishment of NATO as well as the signing of NAFTA, which heralded the beginning of an era of open markets and free trade.
"We are delighted that so many top U.S. business leaders have seized the opportunity to meet with President Erdogan," said Ekim Alptekin, Chairman of TAIK. "Our countries have a long history of successful partnerships. Today Turkey is home to over 1,000 American businesses2 that employ more than 60,000 people.1" ISPAT's President Arda Ermut added, "The participation of these prominent members of the American business community serves as a testament to their confidence in the Turkish economy and the continued opportunities it offers."
At the roundtable meeting, topics discussed included the benefits of investing in Turkey due to the country's vibrant economy and generous investment incentives. For example:
- Turkey's geographic location positions it as a strategic commercial hub for the region, where businesses can take advantage of opportunities stretching from Central Asia to the Caucasus, the Middle East and even Africa;
- Turkey is the 18th most populous country in the world as of 2013, with 41% of its population aged 24 years or younger3;
- Since 2002, Turkey has attracted more than $165 billion of Foreign Direct Investment, including $16.4 billion in 2015, representing an increase of 32 percent compared to 20144;
- Turkey's economy has averaged 5% growth since 2002 and is forecasted to grow 4% in 2016, spurring a sharp increase in infrastructure investments and consumer spending2;
- For instance, a third bridge across the Bosporus Strait and a third airport are under construction in Istanbul, along with plans to expand Istanbul's rapid transit system
- Turkey has undertaken measures to enhance its prospects for EU membership, leading to market reforms and the adoption of European legislative and administrative standards2; and
- Turkey has implemented investment incentives schemes designed to facilitate and encourage global investments such as tax exemptions, land allocations, interest rate support and R&D support5.
Several CEOs in attendance at the roundtable provided insights regarding their company's success in Turkey:
"Citi was among the first foreign banks to establish a presence in Turkey, and since 1975 we have been on the ground working with Turkish companies as they expand regionally and globally," said Michael O'Neill, Chairman of Citi. "Citi is proud of its long presence in Turkey, a very important market for the global economy with its qualified labor force, advantageous geographical location, large domestic market and young, educated population."
"Turkey is critical to the growth of Coca-Cola globally. We've been in Turkey since 1964. Today Coca-Cola Icecek (CCI) has expanded to serve more than 370 million people across 10 countries in the region," said Muhtar Kent, Chairman & CEO of The Coca-Cola Company. "We're proud of our success in Turkey and in the surrounding region. This was possible due to the rising GDPs and promising demographics, particularly in Turkey."
"Honeywell is very committed to Turkey and believe the future is very bright," said David M. Cote, Chairman and CEO of Honeywell. "Honeywell is a major supplier of advanced aviation technologies to Turkish airliners; our integrated airport technologies are helping Istanbul New Airport drive higher levels of customer satisfaction; and we partner with leading Turkish EPCs to drive joint business in surrounding countries. The country's geopolitical position, expanding GDP, and educated talent pool make it a desirable location for us to build and an opportunity for long-term growth at Honeywell."
A sampling of other companies that participated in the roundtable include Baker & McKenzie, Boeing, Dow Chemical, Lockheed Martin and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
For more information about ISPAT and its activities, please visit www.invest.gov.tr/en-US.
For more information about TAIK and its activities, please visit http://www.taik.org.tr.
The Turkey-U.S. Business Council (TAIK), operating under the umbrella of the Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey (DEIK), was formed in 1985 as the first business council in Turkey with the aim to enhance trade and investment relations between the U.S and Turkey. Its primary objectives are to encourage business development and industrial cooperation in order to improve conditions for bilateral trade, foreign direct investments and joint investments in third countries; to research, identify and develop opportunities in key sectors for designated U.S. states and cities where possibilities of win-win business development can be pursued; to promote Turkey's key business sectors in the U.S. and develop Turkey's brand identity by emphasizing its pioneering and leading role in the region, arousing awareness about the advantages of doing business with Turkey and enhancing intercultural dialogue between the two countries through cultural tourism; and to conduct research and provide a database on bilateral trade, investment, industrial and technological cooperation.
The Republic of Turkey Prime Ministry Investment Support and Promotion Agency (ISPAT) is the official organization for promoting Turkey's investment opportunities to the global business community and providing assistance to investors before, during and after their entry into Turkey. ISPAT serves as a reference point for international investors and as a point of contact for all institutions engaged in promoting and attracting investments at national, regional and local levels. Active on a global scale, ISPAT operates with a network of local consultants in the USA, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Spain, and the UK offering an extensive range of services to investors through a one-stop-shop approach, and assists them in obtaining optimum results from Turkey. ISPAT's team of professionals can assist investors in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, or Spanish as well as Turkish, and is dedicated to helping investors successfully develop their business operations in Turkey.
1 http://www.amchamturkey.org/. American Business Forum in Turkey. Accessed March 30, 2016.
2 http://turkey.usembassy.gov/doing_business_in_turkey.html. Embassy of the United States Ankara, Turkey. Accessed March 30, 2016.
3 http://www.turkstat.gov.tr/PreHaberBultenleri.do?id=15844. Turkish Statistical Institute. Accessed March 30, 2016.
4 http://www.invest.gov.tr/en-US/turkey/factsandfigures/Pages/Economy.aspx. Invest in Turkey, The Republic of Turkey Prime Ministry Investment Support and Promotion Agency. Accessed March 30, 2016.
5 http://www.invest.gov.tr/en-US/investmentguide/investorsguide/Pages/Incentives.aspx. Invest in Turkey, The Republic of Turkey Prime Ministry Investment Support and Promotion Agency. Accessed March 30, 2016.
To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/turkey-hosts-roundtable-meeting-with-21-us-ceos-300244038.html
SOURCE Turkey-U.S. Business Council (TAIK); Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey (DEIK); The Republic of Turkey Prime Ministry Investment Support and Promotion Agency (ISPAT)