U.S.–Turkish Business Development
Turkey, a long standing political and military partner of the United States and a key NATO ally, is becoming an increasingly important business destination for American companies. In 2011 and into 2012, there is increasing positive momentum in the U.S.– Turkish business relationship. Chevron and Exxon Mobil have conducted both seismic and drilling operations in the Black Sea; GE Transportation began production and marketing of its Fasttrain (High Speed Train) locomotive in Eskisehir; Boeing has increased market share with Turkish Airlines and smaller carriers; Cummins and Pratt and Whitney announced new investments in Izmir; and Sikorsky was selected by the Turkish government in a closely watched $3.5 billion tender for utility helicopters. The American Business Forum in Turkey, the American Turkish Council, and the Turkish American Businessmen’s Association maintain active programming in support of U.S.–Turkish business development.
President Obama’s April 2009 visit to Turkey – on his first overseas trip – emphasized the importance of closer commercial ties between our two countries. The U.S. and Turkish governments created the Framework for Strategic Economic and Commercial Cooperation (FSECC), a Cabinet-level body to lay out a long-term roadmap for enhanced bilateral trade and investment while resolving key issues impacting businesses. The U.S.-Turkish Business Council, comprised of twenty American and Turkish businesses, will make policy recommendations to the FSECC to ensure a strong private sector voice to G2G discussions. The Trade and Investment Framework Agreement talks, the Energy Working Group, and the Economic Partnership Commission also support this overall effort through ongoing dialogue on bilateral economic issues. The first meeting of the FSECC in Washington in October 2010 yielded a number of tangible results, and future meetings are planned in 2012.
For more information on government to government efforts to increase U.S.-Turkish trade and investment, please contact Kristin Najdi, Turkey Desk Officer, Office of Market Access and Compliance, U.S. Department of Commerce at Kristin.Najdi@trade.gov
U.S. Energy Efficiency Projects in Turkey
WASHINGTON-The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), in coordination with other U.S. agencies, is launching the Near-Zero Zone project, a demonstration project for industrial energy efficiency in Turkey. This interagency project, which has the support of the Turkish government and business organizations, will help industrial companies operating within the Izmir Ataturk Organized Industrial Zone (IAOSB) to reduce their energy intensity through a series of cost-effective efficiency upgrades. The project aims to demonstrate the impact that reducing energy consumption can have on companies’ profitability, promote bilateral trade and investment, and serve as a replicable model for companies and industrial zones throughout Turkey.
Background on the NEAR-ZERO ZONE Project
Turkey’s economy is nearly twice as energy intensive as the OECD average and its industrial sector accounts for nearly 40 percent of its total energy consumption. The Near-Zero Zone project is meant to support Turkey’s goals to reduce its industrial energy intensity while supporting Turkey’s broader energy objectives, including reducing its reliance on energy imports, bolstering its energy security, and decreasing greenhouse gas emissions.
The IAOSB zone was selected to host the project for three primary reasons. First, with over 500 companies operating onsite, the zone provides opportunities to work with companies of varying sizes and diverse industries, enhancing the project’s reach. Second, all of the zone’s utilities – including electricity, heat, and wastewater treatment – are provided by the zone management company, further enhancing the energy efficiency opportunities in the zone. Finally, IAOSB is located near one of Turkey’s largest ports and in a region with significant renewable energy potential, amplifying the potential for related bilateral trade and investment.
DOE will work with U.S. agencies including State, Commerce, Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), US Trade and Development Agency (TDA) and Export-Import Bank on this project. In addition to support from the U.S. and Turkish governments, additional participants may include European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and TURSEFF, an entity composed of four Turkish banks (Vakifbank, Akbank, Garanti Bank and Deniz Bank), as well as a number of private companies.
Key components of the Near-Zero Zone project will include:
Who Wins: This pilot project represents a ‘win-win’ for Turkish and American companies, as well as the U.S. and Turkish governments. On the Turkish side, companies would benefit directly from U.S. technologies, financing, and associated reductions in energy costs while the government would benefit from the sharing of best practices and reduction in industrial sector energy consumption. On the U.S. side, companies would be able to provide equipment and services to up to 500 companies in the industrial zone, as well as to establish a strong foothold in Turkey’s growing energy efficiency and clean energy markets. Meanwhile, the USG would make significant progress in advancing President Obama and Prime Minister Erdogan’s shared commitment to increase bilateral trade and investment.