Turkey, US to strengthen "model partnership" during Caglayan's mid-month visit
The main aim of Foreign Trade Minister Zafer Caglayan's upcoming visit to the United States is to strengthen trade within the framework of their bilateral "model partnership" as declared by US President Barack Obama during his April 2009 visit to Turkey. Caglayan is scheduled to fly to Washington on Oct. 17 where he will have talks before proceeding to New York and then Canada. "A new business council will be established within the framework of the model partnership. This is not an alternative to TAIK [the Turkish-American Business Council]," Caglayan recently told reporters. During Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's visit to Washington last December, the two allies launched an initiative to boost trade and investment ties. The US-Turkey Strategic Economic and Commercial Cooperation dialogue was inaugurated by US Trade Representative Ron Kirk and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke with their Turkish co-chairs, Caglayan and Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan. "We asked for names from TUSIAD [the Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen' Association], MUSIAD [the Independent Industrialists and Businessmen's Association], and TOBB [the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges] in 12 product areas," said Caglayan. "The US has already picked eight names, and we will also choose eight, to make up a 16-member council."