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Turkish-US 'model partnership' comes to fruition with tangible steps to boost vilateral trade

Turkish-US 'model partnership' comes to fruition with tangible steps to boost vilateral trade

Turkey and the US yesterday took the first tangible step in line with the "model partnership" notion introduced by US President Barack Obama to redefine his country's relations with Turkey. A project outlined in the Framework for Economic and Commercial Strategic Cooperation, signed by Obama and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan last December to launch a new engagement between Turkey and the US on economic and trade issues, officially started yesterday with the establishment of a new Turkish-US Business Council, to be co-chaired by US Trade Representative Ron Kirk, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, Deputy Prime Minister for the Economy Ali Babacan, and State Minister for Foreign Trade Zafer Caglayan, as part of Caglayan's trade talks in the US. Aiming to further develop trade ties between the two countries, the new council will play an active role in determining general strategies for improving trade ties between the two countries in addition to its sector-based activities. It will work at both the federal and US state level to bring bilateral trade to a desired level. The new council will organize promotional activities to create awareness about Turkey across the US while facilitating direct contacts between business organizations from both sides. Agreements similar to the recently signed memorandum of understanding with Illinois will be inked with other US states. Ten businesspeople from the US and 12 from Turkey will have seats on the new council, which is set to hold its first meeting in September. The new council is expected to emerge as a permanent cooperation platform for Turkey and the US. Proceeding from Chicago, Caglayan yesterday visited the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, Port of Los Angeles, and local Turkish-US Chamber of Commerce office. Speaking to reporters afterwards, Caglayan said that he and Babacan were tasked by Erdogan to form the trade aspect of the model partnership between Turkey and the US, starting by identifying hurdles to developing trade ties with the US. Stating that Turkey hopes to become one of the world's 10 largest economies by 2023, the centenary of the republic, with a foreign trade volume of $1 trillion, Caglayan expressed belief that his visit would help promote Turkey to US business circles

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