United States-Turkey Economic Partnership Commission Focuses on Opportunities

Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
March 4, 2011

Following is the text of a joint statement issued by the United States of America and Turkey at the conclusion of the Turkey-United States Economic Partnership Commission (EPC) meeting.

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Representatives from the Government of the United States of America and the Government of Turkey met on March 3 in Washington, D.C., for the sixth Turkey-United States Economic Partnership Commission (EPC). The meeting was in accordance with the pledge set forth by U.S. President Barack Obama and Turkish President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, during President Obama’s 2009 visit to Turkey, to develop a strategic economic partnership in line with the two countries’ already strong political and military relations. The Economic Partnership Commission is a key component of strengthening the economic partnership between the United States and Turkey, as outlined in the U.S.-Turkey Framework for Strategic Economic and Commercial Cooperation in October 2010.

This sixth meeting of the Economic Partnership Commission focused on exploring opportunities to enhance business-to-business ties, promoting innovation, and developing areas of cooperation. In the meeting, representatives from both countries discussed a wide range of issues on trade, investment, entrepreneurship, third country cooperation, Turkey’s financial sector, pharmaceuticals, energy, and agriculture including:

  • The role of the Global Entrepreneurship Program and Partners for a New Beginning, as well as the entrepreneurship programs carried out by the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey, in encouraging entrepreneurship in Turkey. The delegations agreed to continue cooperating on entrepreneurship, including supporting Turkey as it hosts the next Entrepreneurship Summit in Turkey later this year.
  •  Areas for cooperation in promoting joint investment and production in third countries particularly Iraq and Afghanistan, and in African states. It was agreed to further explore third country cooperation.
  • Opportunities for investment and cooperation in electricity generation and distribution. The Turkish delegation gave a presentation on the new renewable energy law and Turkish plans for power generation.
  • The United States’ commitment to partnering with Turkey to assist in enhancing Istanbul as an international financial center. The United States agreed to support this goal via information sharing and technical assistance.
  • The role of the Commission as a useful and efficient mechanism to help the United States and Turkey enhance business-to-business ties, promote entrepreneurship and innovation, and expand areas for cooperation in various fields.

The delegation noted the constructive and cooperative spirit of the meetings and expressed commitment to continued collaboration within the Commission to encourage the U.S.-Turkey economic and commercial relationship to live up to its real potential.

Members of the United States and Turkish delegations held private sector meetings the day before the EPC. During these meetings, the delegations outlined promising areas for joint trade and investment and the importance of the role the private sector plays in expanding the economic cooperation between the two countries.

The Turkish delegation was led by Ambassador Selim Yenel, Deputy Undersecretary for Bilateral Affairs and Public Diplomacy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and included representatives of the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, the State Planning Organization, the Undersecretariats of Foreign Trade and Treasury, the Capital Markets Board, and the Energy Market Regularity Authority. The United States delegation was led by Jose W. Fernandez, Assistant Secretary of State for Economic, Energy, and Business Affairs, and included representatives of the Departments of State, Commerce, Treasury, Agriculture, and Energy, the Office of the United States Trade Representative, the United States Trade and Development Agency, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Small Business Administration, and the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank).

The two delegations agreed to meet again later this year in Turkey.

PRN: 2011/335