The Biggest Contributor to Turkish American Business Relations

Mehmet Buyukeksi, President of Turkish Exporters' Association.

The Turkish Exporters Assembly is the umbrella organization of 45,000 Turkish exporters. The Assembly represents 59 regional and sectoral exporter associations, 23 sectors, and 13 Secretariat Offices serving exporters and exporter associations in local and international arenas.
As a solution center for export and exporter-related problems in Turkey, TIM assures coordination between public and private sector organizations, exporters and decision-makers, developing policies aimed at improving exports and providing exporters with a high-profile representation both locally and internationally.

Turkey has a long-standing friendship and alliance with the USA. The great deal of cooperation so far between the two countries has yielded greater results than expected and has resulted in positive developments for the whole world. No matter the physical distance between the two countries, being the offspring of two nations that think alike, we believe that our cooperation in the new global order will increase even more.

As two strategic partners and two leading countries, the positive impacts of our achievements together on the world’s destiny are unquestionable. However, economic relations and big joint projects aren’t as important compared to our strategic partnership. Commercial and investment–related relations between the two countries are below their potential. However, there are great opportunities in trade and investments which have already been supported by the diplomatic relations between the two countries. Moreover, there are several regional cooperation areas where Turkish and American companies can set up joint investments.

When the foreign trade figures of Turkey in recent years are examined, it can be seen that Turkey’s exports have made great progress, especially in the last seven years. Turkey’s 25 billion dollars in exports at the beginning of the 2000’s rose to 132 billion dollars in 2008.
With a target to enhance her role in world trade, Turkey is now concentrating on long term strategies.

Turkey is planning to reach a volume of $500 billion in exports in 2023, which will be the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the Turkish Republic.

To hit this target, the Turkish Exporters Assembly is working with an international advisory company, Palladium, which was founded by Dr. Robert Kaplan and Dr. David Norton. Dr. Kaplan and Dr. Norton are recognized as experts in strategy execution in today’s world.  With the assistance of Palladium, we are building road maps for our companies in 23 different sectors in order to accomplish this goal.

Until the 1980s, exports did not contribute greatly to the growth of Turkey. But especially after the economic crisis in 2001, exports became the main engine of the Turkish economy and were instrumental in rescuing Turkey from deep economic crisis.


Turkey’s exports are rising steadily. Turkey’s foreign trade is also rising day by day. But in recent years, Turkey’s exports to the USA, compared to her imports from the US, did not rise satisfactorily. In other words, Turkish exports to the USA have not benefited as much as the current export boom in Turkey.
One of the main reasons for the decline of Turkish exports to the USA can be stated as the appreciation of the TL with regard to the US dollar. However, Turkey does not seem to have problems exporting to other countries with dollar currencies. On the other hand, US exports to Turkey are increasing rapidly. In 2002, US exports to Turkey were valued at $3.1 billion dollars. This figure increased to $12 billion dollars in 2008, an increase of 286%. In the same period, Turkey’s exports to the USA increased only 28%, from $3.3 billion dollars in 2002 to $4.3 billion dollars in 2008.

Despite the fact that Turkey and the USA are strategic partners and friendly two countries which are trying to improve their relations day by day, in economical terms, Turkey has not benefited as much as the USA in this relationship.

Turkish exporters aim to improve their political and economic relations with the USA and to increase the volume of trade between the two countries. We should also act together to improve these relations. At this point the President of the USA, Barack Obama’s, visit to Turkey is a new chance for both countries to move their relations to the next level. We should evaluate this opportunity and take advantage of it.

One of demands of Turkish businessmen is for the establishment of a new Qualified Industrial Zone (QIZ), which will have a great effect on improving the trade balance between the USA and Turkey. Other countries, such as Egypt, have QIZs and benefit from these zones. Turkey should have the same opportunity.

We believe that relations between Turkey and the US will grow in the future with the cooperation between businessmen and politicians.  As the Turkish Exporters Assembly, we will try to be the biggest contributor to this process.
Last modified onSaturday, 06 May 2017 10:07