A Nation Ripe For Trade


Since the economic crisis of February, Turkey, the largest economy in Southeast Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East, has made extraordinary progress.  In 2004, the nation’s growth rate hit almost 10 per cent, making it one of the fastest-growing emerging markets by a considerable margin.  For the first time in over 30 years, Turks are seeing single-digit inflation.  This remarkable recovery can be credited to the flexibility of its economy and policies focused on stabilization and reform.

As Turkey continues to work closely with the IMF to strengthen its fiscal position and increase the confidence of the international community, the nation is becoming increasingly attractive to investors. Accession talks with the European Union begin in the fall paving the way for closer ties and greater cooperation. A recent official visit to Washington by Prime Minister Erdogan has normalized previously strained relations with the U.S. allowing for greater trade opportunities.

Adnan Nas, Chairman of the Turkish-American Business Association, says, “Turkey's real goal should be to become 'a regional base' for U.S. investments and trade.”  Nas believes that the Turkish private sector should also exert efforts to gain a greater share of U.S. foreign trade volume, valued at 3 trillion USD.

The Turkish-American Business Association, established in 1987 and known as TABA, is striving to maintain and spur U.S.-Turkish relations.  The association, which is also the American Chamber of Commerce in Turkey, promotes trade relations between the U.S. and Turkey, while serving as a central point of contact and as liaison between American and Turkish business people and corporations. 

As part of its mission, TABA regularly organizes meetings, conferences, seminars, fairs and workshops focused on topics that facilitate information and opinion exchange.  One such program was the recent seminar on “How to Export to the U.S.A.” conducted in Istanbul. Turkish business people were trained on topics such as American business etiquette, market opportunities, and export processes and procedures.  The goal of such workshops is to ensure that Turkish exporters are well prepared for American regulations and expectations, but also to ensure that cultural differences are observed and respected in business. 


The U.S.-Turkish friendship dates from the late 18th century and was officially sealed by a treaty in 1830.  Since that time the two countries have cooperated on many levels, and established a Joint Economic Commission, as well as a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement.  In, the nations indicated their joint intent to upgrade bilateral economic relations by launching an Economic Partnership Commission. Turkey was recently designated a Big Emerging Market (one of the Top Ten Emerging Markets) for U.S. exports and investment by the Department of Commerce. 


As the two nations work to develop an increased understanding of each other’s social customs, incentives and investment potential, further trade and partnerships are inevitable.  TABA and its members, who represent some of the largest corporations in the country, are eager to serve as a conduit for the expansion of this relationship and cross-national business activity. 


For more information on business opportunities in Turkey, please contact Mr. Ömer Kirdar or Mrs. Derun Ülgen Ayçin at +90 212 291 0916 or via email at ;  . www.amcham.org