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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Press Relations Office > Press Releases (Other) > 2003 > December
Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
December 5, 2003


U.S.-Turkey Joint Statement on Expanding Trade and Investment

On December 2, the United States and the Government of Turkey held a second session of the U.S.-Turkey Economic Partnership Commission. The session highlighted the shared commitment of the two countries to strengthen our bilateral economic relationship and provided an opportunity for extensive discussion of trade and investment issues.

With the goal of expanding our bilateral trade (currently worth $6.5 billion) and investment (U.S. investments in Turkey exceed $1.8 billion), the United States agreed to consult with the Congress regarding the possibility of including Turkey in the Qualified Industrial Zone Initiative. Participation in the Qualified Industrial Zone program could help Turkey diversify its exports while fostering needed regional economic cooperation. The two countries also agreed to hold discussions at the expert level to remove non-tariff barriers that hinder U.S.-Turkish trade and investment, to honor the contractual rights of U.S. investors, and to continue working together on the effective protection of intellectual property rights and to rationalize sanitary and phytosanitary measures.

U.S. interest in trade with and investment in Turkey has grown as the government of Turkey has implemented an economic reform program that has boosted growth and increased confidence. U.S. Export-Import Bank Board Director April Foley reviewed Export-Import Bank activities in Turkey, briefing the delegations on total Export-Import Bank exposure in Turkey of $3 billion. Having provided substantial support to projects in the Turkish energy sector, the Export-Import Bank is interested in supporting needed investment as Turkey’s telecommunications sector is privatized. The Export-Import Bank is also ready to assist Turkish firms participating in important regional reconstruction efforts.

Overseas Private Investment Corporation President Peter Watson outlined opportunities to increase the Cooperation’s current $1 billion exposure in Turkey, including several new regional and sectoral investment funds with an additional $1.6 billion in total capital, supported by the Corporation and authorized to invest in Turkey. The parties agreed that one such fund aimed specifically at small and medium enterprises could provide important assistance in developing that sector in Turkey.

U.S. companies have invested in recent years in Turkey's power generation sector. The United States welcomes Turkish plans to deregulate domestic energy markets. The United States continues to urge the Turkish government to honor contractual commitments to these U.S. companies, a number of which invested with the support of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation. The Turkish side expressed its readiness to consult with the U.S. companies on a solution without jeopardizing the contractual rights of the investors.

Finally, the United States and Turkey exchanged views on how to move forward the Doha Development Agenda. Both the United States and Turkey are committed to liberalizing the multilateral trading system and to re-energizing the negotiating process, building on Chairman Derbez's text of September 13, recognizing that flexibility and political will are urgently needed to move the negotiations towards a successful conclusion. The United States and Turkey also agreed on the importance of regional trade agreements, which complement multilateral trade liberalization efforts.

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Released on December 5, 2003

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