The stock of US direct investment in Turkey doubled from 2006 to 2007, from USD $2.6 billion to almost $5 billion, and ABFT members have said in a recent business climate survey that they are very satisfied with their decision to invest in Turkey, and recommend further investment to other US companies.
“While security and Turkey’s place in Europe will dominate the agenda, the American business community sees President Obama’s visit as also underscoring Turkey’s rising importance as a trade and investment partner, said Galip Sukaya, Board Chairman of ABFT. “International investors today are looking to Brazil, Russia, India, China and Turkey as the markets with the most potential for growth and investment, and the President’s visit helps make Turkey’s strengths obvious American companies that have not yet established a presence in our dynamic, fast-growing country.”
Reforms & EU Harmonization key to new US investment in Turkey
In a global economic downturn, ABFT members believe investment will flow to those countries implementing critical market reforms, and that Turkey stands to benefit most from bringing its practices in line with EU requirements and improving its business climate.
“President Obama has emphasized Turkey’s place is in Europe, and we in the business community are in full support of reforms that will speed up Turkey’s harmonization and eventual accession,” said Sukaya. “At the top of our agenda are reforms that improve bureaucratic efficiency and transparency, strengthen intellectual property protection and allow more flexibility in work permits for skilled labor.”
“American leads the world in the size of its economy, innovation and technology transfer,” said Sukaya. “With the right reforms, the US Chamber of Commerce believes that Turkey will be well-situated to capture a much greater share of US investment abroad, leading to stronger Turkish job growth, innovation and exports. President Obama is in an excellent position to underscore Turkey’s new economic prominence in the world.”
The American Business Forum in Turkey (ABFT) serves as an American Chamber of Commerce in Turkey and represents approximately 70 prestigious U.S. firms operating in Turkey. ABFT was established in January 2004. US Ambassador James Jeffrey serves as Honorary Chairman. Founded with a mission to improve the business and investment environment for U.S. companies in Turkey, ABFT has remained focused on this objective through advocacy and business development initiatives. In the five years since its establishment, ABFT has held a variety of events, hosted numerous U.S. and Turkish government officials, and conducted research on behalf of its members and to develop the bilateral commercial relationship. As an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, ABFT is in a strong position to work with government and private sector leaders in both countries to represent U.S. businesses in Turkey.