On March 8, 2013, Commercial Counselor Michael Lally, Commercial Specialist Ihsan Muderrisoglu and Commercial Assistant Yaprak Cakilcioglu visited Eskişehir in an effort to identify the “Sabancis” of tomorrow and aid their growth through targeted business development. The program began with breakfast roundtable with Ambassador Ricciardone and representatives from some of the most successful Eskişehir firms. After the breakfast, Ambassador Ricciardone and the U.S. Commercial Service attended a seminar hosted by the Eskisehir Industrialist's and Businessmen's Association (ESIAD). During the “Doing Business with the USA in Turkey and in the Region” seminar, Ambassador Ricciardone and Commercial Counselor Michael Lally addressed the ESIAD members and encouraged stronger U.S. - Turkish business ties. Public Affairs Section colleaguesensured broad exposure in local and national press.
Ambassador Ricciardone delivered remarks at the “Doing Business with the USA in Turkey and the Region” seminar hosted by ESIAD
A/S Camuñez and Senator Cardin led CODEL Speak with U.S. Business Leaders in Istanbul
On February 20, 2013, the American Business Forum in Turkey (ABFT) and the Turkish American Businessmen’s Association (TABA) hosted a breakfast for the Commission on Security and Co-Operation in Europe (CSCE) led by Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD). The breakfast provided an opportunity for ABFT and TABA board members to discuss business relations between the United States and Turkey with senior U.S. government officials. ABFT Chairwoman Serra Akçaoğlu, TABA President Ekim Alptekin, Consul General Scott Kilner and Assistant Secretary Michael Camuñez discussed a number of topics with the group, including the potential U.S. – EU free trade agreement, its effect on Turkey (a member of the EU Customs Union) and increasing the trade and investment relationship between the U.S. and Turkey. The breakfast discussion allowed U.S. business leaders in Turkey to highlight the importance of the U.S. – Turkey business relationship at the congressional level.
CS Turkey Kicks Off 2013 Outreach Plan With CG Kilner Led Visit to Kocaeli
Commercial Service Turkey has identified Bursa, Kocaeli, Denizli, Gaziantep and Eskisehir as key cities for outreach beyond the Istanbul-Ankara-Izmir triangle.The Commercial Service, Public Affairs, Consular Section and Political/Economic Section at AMCONGEN Istanbul joined forces for a two-day visit to Kocaeli led by Consul General Kilner.
A bilateral commercial agenda was developed to include key partners in the Turkish business community. The Kocaeli Chamber of Industry hosted a very well-attended event where CG Kilner made opening remarks along with presentations by PCO Desai on Commercial Service Turkey's service offerings to Turkish importers and Consul Faillace on visas. The Turkish American Business Council (TAIK) talked about its bilateral business initiatives and a Turkish company shared its experiences as an exporter to the U.S. CG Kilner also toured the PepsiCo/Frito-Lay plant in Kocaeli.
CG Kilner, PCO Desai and Acting Consular Chief Faillace with Kocaeli Chamber of Industry Board Members
On February 14, 2013, USTDA Director Leocadia Zak, Regional Director Carl Kress, Country Manager Joshua Kaplan, SCO Michael Lally and Senior Commercial Specialist Serdar Cetinkaya attended a breakfast discussion with prominent Izmir business people hosted by the Izmir Branch of TABA-Amcham and the Izmir Chamber of Commerce. USTDA provided an overview of their programs, and the group discussed several potential projects. Following the breakfast, Director Zak and the traveling party visited a geothermal power plant site in Germencik, which had received a USTDA feasibility grant. The construction of the geothermal plant resulted in over $23 million in U.S. exports of goods and services.
Working in collaboration with the Association of Electricity Distribution Services (ELDER), the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) sponsored a two-day workshop on February 12-13, 2013, in Istanbul. With the goal of fostering U.S. – Turkish partnerships for state-of-the-art electricity transmission and distribution projects, the event attracted 181 participants, of which 43 were U.S. company representatives and 69 delegates representing Turkish distribution companies. Featured attendees included U.S. Ambassador to Turkey Francis Ricciardone, USTDA Director Leocadia Zak, and MENR (Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources) Deputy Under Secretary Selahattin Cimen, all of whom gave remarks during the opening ceremony. The event highlighted smart grid projects and initiatives, including the technology, regulatory framework, standards, financing and best practices of smart grid projects. The U.S. Commercial Service Turkey played a key role in organizing and promoting what turned out to be a very successful event.
On Wednesday, March 13, 2013, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency hosted a webinar for U.S. companies interested in hearing about plans for a new Istanbul Airport and potential business opportunities. USTDA Director Leocadia Zak and U.S. Ambassador to Turkey Francis Ricciardone kicked off the webinar by welcoming the participants, and Commercial Counselor Michael Lally delivered a substantive presentation on the Turkish economy and the New Istanbul Airport project.
The General Directorate of State Airports Authority (DHMİ) in Turkey has requested bids from joint venture groups to construct a new Istanbul airport. Advertised as a Build-Operate-Transfer Model, the new airport would be one of the largest in the world at a capacity of more than 110 million passengers per year. Over the course of the next several months, the U.S. Commercial Service Turkey will lead a multi-agency business development team to assist U.S. companies that are interested in providing products and services for the construction of the new airport.
Commercial Service and Mission Turkey continue to support AmChams and reach out to Turkey's dynamic business community. On January 16, Consul General Kilner, SCO Lally and PCO Desai met with American Business Forum in Turkey (ABFT-AmCham) chairwoman and executives of top U.S. firms in Turkey for a productive brainstorming session on developing a strategy for the organization's growth and sustainability in 2013 and beyond.
On February 13, Ambassador Ricciardone, SCO Lally and PCO Desai attended the ABFT General Assembly and biennial elections where the Ambassador gave opening remarks. The Ambassador also met with TAIK (Turkish American Business Council) members and YASED (Foreign Investors Association) during his Istanbul visit.
On January 8-9 in Istanbul, the U.S. Department of Energy, with the support of the U.S. Mission in Turkey and the U.S. Commercial Service, concluded the Near Zero Zone industrial energy efficiency project with a technical training event. The training was designed to provide industrial zone and corporate energy managers with the tools and methodologies to perform initial enterprise energy assessments to better determine the magnitude of energy savings opportunities. These initial self-assessments often play a critical role in securing corporate management buy-in to engage with a professional energy service company (ESCO). Overall, the Near Zero Zone industrial energy efficiency project has been a great success, demonstrating the vast energy saving potential in Turkish industry through concrete examples that are replicable across industrial sectors and geographic regions. The whole-of-government approach, incorporating the technical expertise of DOE, the financing capacities of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency and OPIC, the export promotion abilities of the Foreign Commercial Service and the local knowledge and organizational capabilities of the U.S. Mission in Ankara and Istanbul enabled the project to make a compelling and relevant case to a broad spectrum of Turkish industry.
U.S. Ex-Im Bank Raymond Ellis visits Turkey
U.S. Ex-Im Bank Vice President of Global Business Development, Raymond Ellis, visited Ankara and Istanbul from February 6-14, 2013 for the purpose of business development outreach. In Ankara, Mr. Ellis gave a briefing for the Turkish Contractors Association and met with private sector representatives to discuss business opportunities. In Istanbul, Mr. Ellis targeted the banking, healthcare, construction and transportation sectors with an emphasis on energy and Istanbul's third airport projects. Mr. Ellis also attended the USTDA sponsored Smart Grid Workshop and gave a speech there as Turkey continues to be a priority market for U.S. Ex-Im Bank.
Commercial Counselor Michael Lally, in coordination with CS London, CS Brussels and the Business Council for International Understanding, conducted a business outreach visit to Brussels and London. The goal of the visit was to contact U.S. firms not yet active in Turkey to discuss favorable market trends for American firms. Over the course of eighteen one on one meetings with American SME's and large firms, Lally noted Turkey's continued economic growth and advantages of engaging the U.S. Commercial Service in Turkey. Working with our local offices and BCIU, Lally held two business briefings with American firms. Follow up continues with U.S. firms in the medical, aviation, food processing, and services sectors.
CS Turkey Commercial Attaché, John Fay, visited Izmir February 7-8, 2013. He had a high level meeting with the head of the Izmir Chamber of Commerce, who is also CS Izmir's landlord which garnered a lot of press about upcoming CS activities in Turkey. In addition to other business, he met with the directors of the Izmir Free Trade Zone, the oldest and largest FTZ (Free Trade Zone) in Turkey.
Commercial Attaché, John Fay & Commercial Specialist Berrin Erturk visited Izmir Chamber of Commerce Chairman Ekrem Demirtaş in Izmir.