Trade aspect of Turkish-US 'model partnership' taking shape
As part of his talks in the US, State Minister for Foreign Trade Zafer Caglayan yesterday witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Illinois' Department of Commercial and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and Turkey's Foreign Trade Undersecretariat (DTM). The memorandum was signed by DECO Illinois head Waren Ribley and DTM Deputy Undersecretary Cemalettin Damlaci. Under the pact, Turkey is set to adopt a state-based and sector-oriented approach in its efforts to improve trade ties with the US. Speaking to reporters following the signing, Caglayan called the agreement a milestone, saying that it would help further develop Turkish-US trade ties. "Today we're breaking new ground. With this agreement, our strategic partnership with the US is set to turn into an economic partnership as well," he said. Touting Turkey as the best place for companies aiming to grow on a global scale, Caglayan said that the deal would help improve investments and trade between Turkey and the US, as well as bring small- and medium-size companies from the two countries together. "Today Turkey acts as a base for many American firms," he said. "Along with its strategic and geographic importance, it has important distribution channels. Turkey is the best transit point for reaching the Middle East, Asia, Caucasus, Balkans and North Africa. Turkey is the best-located country for companies looking for ways to improve their business on a global scale." Under the memorandum, joint seminars, conferences, and road shows will be held and business school visits will be conducted to boost trade ties between Turkey and Illinois. The memorandum also foresees the development of cooperation between small- and medium-sized companies from Turkey and Illinois in innovation and technology transfers. With its $500 billion gross domestic product, Illinois occupies an important place in US trade and commerce. Caglayan yesterday also visited the Chicago Commodity Exchange and held talks with CEOs of a number of leading US companies, including Boeing. He also met with Chicago Chamber of Commerce head Lance Pressi and International Trade Association of Greater Chicago Chairman Richard Paullin.