Bülent Senver
Chairman of the Board

It is the time to come to Turkey now.

Now is the time to trade with Turkey. Now is the time to invest in Turkey. Now is the time to make partnerships with the young Turks.

Don't forget, Turkey stands at the cross-roads of the next century of history.

We want to meet the challenge of the next century together with our good ally the United States of America.

President Bill Clinton said:

"Turkey is a valued, important ally of the United States, and our relationship will become even more important in the years ahead... I am committed to preserving and strengthening our nation's long tradition of close co-operation with Turkey."

The Clinton Administration accord exceptionally high priority to Turkey as a strategic ally and as a close trading partner. Turkey is a fellow member of NATO.Turkey stood by U.S.A in the Persian Gulf and Elsewhere .It is a stable democracy, the only secular democracy among the world' s 52 Muslim states.Turkey shares its frontiers with eight countries which extend from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean to the Persian Gulf. It is the cross-roads of Europe and Asia. It is a crucial link to Central Europe and many of the Newly Independent States of the former Soviet Union.

Turkey's commercial ties with the U.S.A have been expanding. Turkey's economic growth has been among the most rapid in the OECD. The volume of Turkey's foreign trade has more than tripled since 1980. U.S.- Turkish trade has grown even faster, with recent trade levels more than five times higher than they were in 1980. Annual foreign investment in Turkey is now ten times higher than the levels of the early 1980's, and American firms comprise the first or second largest group of investors with approximately $ 2 billion since 1980.Production of U.S affiliates in Turkey are up six-fold in the last decade. The U.S. share of the Turkish import market is high and maintaining strength. The new possibility of investment in the Build-Operate-Transfer projects is creating an additional surge in U.S investor interest.

Turkey is becoming very international. Turkey is located at the center of the new developing world. It is the bridge between the East and the West. It is at the heart of many new developing countries where there is significant potential for business growth.

Being an international country Turkey is a member of several international organizations.

1. It is a member of North Atlantic Treaty Organization. (NATO)
2. It is a founding member of the Council of Europe. (COE)
3. It is a founding member of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development
(World Bank) (IBRD)
4. It is a founding member of the International Monetary Fund.(IFC)
5. It is a founding member of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.(OECD)
6. It is a member of Asian Development Bank (ADB)
7. It is a member of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.(EBRD)
8. It is a party to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.(GATT)
9. It's Central Bank is a member of the Bank for International Settlements.(BIS)
10.It is an active member of the Organization of the Islamic Conferance.(OIC)
11.It is an active member of the Islamic Development Bank.(IDB)
12.It is a member of Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) where five former Soviet Republics are also a member.

Turkey the Anchor for East and West with a young and rapidly growing population of 62 billion and a land mass larger than any country in Western Europe ( roughly the size of Texas), possesses a small, very wealthy, western-oriented upper class and a sizeable and growing middle class of salaried workers and small business owners who are becoming major consumers of imports.

As per capita income continues to grow, both disposable income and domestic consumption levels will fuel demand for more imports.

Turkey's most salient characteristics is its location, standing at the cross-roads where Europe meets Asia, an added attraction for business interested in building relationships in both the West and East. Turkey's historic trading links with the neighbouring Arab countries, the Near East and Europe are growing.Turkey is serving as a launching site for doing business with the republics of the former Soviet Union, with Istanbul becoming an airline transportation hub for the region and a commercial gateway for the general area.

No discussion of Turkey, no matter how brief, would ever be complete without mentioning the contribution of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

He alone was the key person who united Turkey, gained its independence, and then as the first president, introduced numerous reforms to propel the new nation from the Ottoman days into the modern era. 73 years have passed since Turkey become a republic, Ankara the capital city, and Atatürk the firs president. Turkey moved ahead to meet the challenge of the changing world.

From 1930' s until 1980, Turkey maintained a protected economy, with large state enterprises and high tariff barriers.That began to change in 1980 when the country embarked on an economic development program that included the liberalization of import restrictions, fostering greater domestic competition, privatization of state enterprises and the reduction of taxes. The rapid growth policy initiated by the government promoted extensive industrialization and construction of major projects at the national and local level. Real Gross National Product Growth averaged 5 percent annually from 1981 to 1993, much higher growth level than the other western OECD countries.This high growth rate meant substantial and broadly based improvements in the standard of living.

Turkey's economy is one of the largest outside of the industrialized world with a GDP of $ 131 billion. Services including construction, trade, tourism, transport and communications, account for roughly 60 percent of Turkey's GDP; industry accounts for 25 % and agriculture accounts for only 15 %

At the present time the U.S. with a 10.4 % share of Turkey's imports is the second largest supplier to the Turkish market after Germany. The U.S. share of the Turkish market already is higher than the U.S. share of the European Union market.

Turkey is seeking rapid economic and rapid industrial growth. There is significant business potential for U.S. businessman in the following big emerging sectors.

1. Local Municipality projects in big cities like Ystanbul, Ankara and Yzmir. Water and sanitation facilities, roadways, schools, hospitals, power plants, transportation services, metro, you name it.

2. Southeast Anatolia Regional Development Project (GAP)
The largest ongoing project in Turkey worth an estimated $ 30 billion. To date more than $ 10 billion already has been spent on the GAP project, primarily to build dams for irrigation and power generation. This integrated regional development project requires the construction of a complete infrastructure including power, irrigation systems, roads, airports, agro-industry, schools, training centers and hospitals.

3. Motor ways.Trans.-Europe Motor way from Ystanbul to Syrian border. Third Ystanbul Bosphorous bridge or tunnel, Çanakkale bridge, Yzmit Bay bridge are future tenders to come.

4. Airports. Istanbul Airport, Ankara Airport, Antalya airport modernization and expansion projects, ?anlyurfa airport project are still to be concluded.

5. Ports. Yzmir port, Çandarly port, Zonguldak port are waiting for Build Operate Transfer projects.

6. Energy. Turkey will require an average of 2500 MW additional power capacity each year through the year 2010 to meet increased demand. US technology is well known in Turkey for its quality and increasingly, for is a new challenge to US companies.

7. Aeroscope. Turkish Airlines and Turkish Army demands will continue to attract US involvement and interest in the aerospace industry.
8. Telecommunication Equipment and Services. With advanced technology and management techniques, American firms can significantly expand their market presence in Turkey. The privatization project of the National Telecommunications System PTT is not a challenge only for the American firms but it is a challenge for all the developed countries who are active in this field.

9. Motor Vehicles and Parts. European and Japanese manufacturers suppliers are becoming more active in this sector during the recent years. American companies may find interesting competition in Turkey in this sector.

10. Retailing and Consumer Goods. The rapidly growing. 62 million population require sophisticated retailing systems and high quality of a wide range of consumer goods. There is room for American technology and know-how in this vast expending market.

11. Environmental Technology Projects. There are big ongoing and planned projects on disposal and recycling of solid wastes which present export opportunities for US firms over the next few years.

12. Financial services Industry. Turkish Financial Services Market is growing very fast. The banking Systems the capital Market, the Money Market are great growth potentials for American financial institutions.

If you are international or want to become international do not miss the business opportunities that exist in the Turkish market. The Turkish government encourages foreign investment and has made great strides in the last decade to enhance its investment climate. In principle, there is no discrimination against foreign investors at any stage of investment. Turkey grants all rights, incentives, exemptions and privileges that are available to domestic firms to foreign investors.

A bilateral investment treaty (BIT) between the US and Turkey entered into force on May 18, 1990.

The Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) provides that American investors in Turkey will receive national treatment, except in a few certain sectors. The BIT also provides for the right to repatriate capital, profits and dividends, and it guarantees access to binding international arbitration of disputes.

Shortly a Bilateral Tax Agreement will be signed between our countries to avoid double taxation. Turkey has also recently accepted new legislation to protect the Intellectual Property Rights.

In December 1995 Turkey is accepted to the European Customs Union. Both Turkish and American firms would see some improvements and difficulties in the new business environment that would result. Cheaper sources of supplies and easier access to the world's largest and most affluent market will be the main benefits. Stronger competition and the effect of tariff differentials may be the major difficulties.

American firms may react to such difficulties by establishing the needed distribution ties and commercial alliances with Turkey to meet this competition. Joint ventures, licensing or coproduction arrangements between American and Turkish firms can provide the needed blend of resources to not only expand sales in Turkey but also in the European Union and adjoining countries. Turkey will be a natural regional distribution hub.

US has announced Turkey as a Big Emerging Market (BEM). US see the Big Emerging Market as up - and - coming leaders on the world stage, as regional influentials, and as major actors in international organizations.

With the BEM strategy US and Turkey will work hard on five important areas which will be to the benefit of both US and Turkish Businessmen.

1) Improving the commercial climate by increasing cooperation and intellectual property rights.

2) Expanding the presence of US firms in all aspects of large projects, their design, their construction, their financing, their management and operation.

3) Enhancing cooperation in science and technology in both research and commercial projects.

4) Facilitating communication between our two private sectors including support for more joint-venture and strategic alliances and

5) Expanding a strategic dialogue on economic and commercial matters by increasing discussions on ways to cooperate in the changing world economy, on regional development projects, and in international organizations.

US and Turkey are moving on all the above mentioned fronts.

There has hardly been a moment in these years when Turkey could regard the present with comfort, or the future with ease. But today Turkey is filled with energy and confidence and we young Turks are determined to seize the opportunities of the future.

Now is the time to trade with Turkey. Now is the time to invest in Turkey. Now is the time to make partnerships with the young Turks.

Now is the time to ask for a ticket from Delta Airlines flight number 060, departure time 19:40 to Istanbul.

Don't forget, Turkey stands at the cross-roads of the next century of history.

Turkey is becoming very international. It is the bridge between the East and the West.It is the heart of many new developing countries where there is significant potential for business growth.

Turkish American Businessmen’s Association and Chamber of Commerce (TABA) is at the heart of Istanbul, ready to assist you to find your way in the Turkish Business Community.