Expanding economic relations with Turkey is a high priority for the United States. “The opportunity in Turkey is palpable,” said U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce Michael Camunez. “Furthermore, events in the region and the global economy over the past year have reinforced this perception, making it clear to me that this is Turkey’s moment.”
Over the past ten years, Turkey’s economy has grown by over $500 billion, and gross domestic product per capita has tripled, making Turkey the 16th largest global economy. In the first quarter of 2011, it boasted the fastest growing economy in the world, expanding by 11 percent. Now a member of the G20, it continues to be the fastest growing economy in Europe. This has opened up commercial opportunities outside of the traditional business center of Istanbul, with entrepreneurs and capitalists emerging from budding industrial cities in the Turkish heartland.
The Turkish government has set the ambitious goal of becoming a top ten economy by the year 2023 - the 100th anniversary of the modern Turkish republic. Achieving this objective will require a tripling of the economy and significant new foreign direct investment.
During President Barack Obama’s 2009 trip to Turkey, he agreed with Turkish President Abdullah Gul to advance our economic relationship to the level of our diplomatic and strategic defense relationship. To that end, the U.S. and Turkey launched a new Cabinet-level Framework for Strategic Economic and Commercial Cooperation. Raising the importance of commercial relations has led to improved bilateral trade: 2011 was a record setting year with $20 billion in total trade, up 34 percent.
The U.S. will continue to work through the Framework for Strategic Economic and Commercial Cooperation, which will provide an opportunity to focus on issues such as foreign direct investment, regulatory cooperation, and innovation.
“Turkey is full of opportunity,” said Assistant Secretary Camunez. “With its burgeoning economy, strong banking sector, young and educated workforce, and geostrategic location as a bridge to North Africa and the Middle East, the time is ripe to advance our commercial relations.”