Turkey-US commercial ties strengthened at New York event

Leading companies and investors convene with senior government officials for 9th Turkey Investment Conference


SEPT 26, 2018 // NEW YORK—The 9th Turkey Investment Conference, organized by the Turkey-U.S. Business Council (TAIK), gathered Turkish and American executives at Gotham Hall in New York to discuss investment opportunities in Turkey and Turkey-US business ties.

In a boost for commercial ties between the two nations, the Conference – held on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly – connected senior government officials and businesses from Turkey with American investors and corporate leaders interested in better understanding the business landscape in Turkey.

The economic relationship between Turkey and the U.S. is one of the world's most significant. Turkey and the U.S. do $20 billion in annual trade with one another, a figure that grew by nearly 18% in the past year. Turkey's economy is highly diverse, and attendance at the Conference reflected the country's status as a key destination for foreign investors. Leading Turkish companies were represented at the event, as well as many of America's largest and most important financial institutions and corporations. 

Those in attendance heard from Turkey's President H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Minister of Treasury and Finance H.E. Berat Albayrak, and Minister of Trade H.E. Ruhsar Pekcan.

TAIK Chairman Mehmet Ali Yalcindag spoke at the conference, saying, "The business relationship between Turkey and the United States has historically been based on mutual respect and cooperation – and a keen understanding of the mutual benefits. We should all work to ensure that's how it remains…There is simply too much at stake, and too much to gain."

The Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey (DEIK) President Nail Olpak also spoke about the importance of commercial ties between Turkey and the U.S., saying, "I see the great passion and enthusiasm that the business community brings to its work every day, and I know that we will continue to serve as a bridge between our countries and will continue to enhance investment opportunities and trade relations."

Priya Basu, head of the World Bank's Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative, spoke with Minister Pekcan about empowering women in business. Minister Pekcan said, "When you give a woman an opportunity, her potential is limitless. At my ministry, we are encouraging women to become involved with key sectors and activities in which we see particularly strong growth opportunities for both men and women – including e-commerce and e-trade."

Erin McPike, former CNN and NBC News journalist, interviewed Minister Albayrak, who spoke at length about the country's medium-term economic plan. "Last week we announced a new plan to focus on three things: rebalancing, discipline, and transformation. All options are on the table. Whatever is needed, whatever is required, whatever it takes to strengthen the backbone of the economy. It's going to be a bright future for Turkey," he said.

During a speech which closed the evening, President Erdoğan said, "History has shown us clearly that there is no winner of war, especially trade wars. This is a lose-lose equation in both the commercial and political spheres." He also said, "Our strategic partnership, which has survived so much, will overcome this turbulent period. I strongly believe that our close friendship with the United States will turn this process into an opportunity."