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Ramin Asgard: "We are ready to help!"

Journalist Ali Cinar interviewed former high-ranking U.S. Government Official,Founder&Principal of Asgard Law Offices, Ramin Asgard about the Investor visa opportunities and the Turkey-US trade relationship.

 What does your company offer to business leaders? Can you explain the E2 Investor visa process? Is it difficult to get it? What are the requirements?     

What Asgard Law Offices Offers: U.S. investment, business, and entrepreneur immigration advisory services and a range of options, including the E-2 visa, the E-1 visa, the EB-5 green card, as well a range of business, family, and other immigration options for the U.S.  We also provide a range of Citizenship By Investment (CBI) and Residency By Investment (RBI) programs for other countries beyond the U.S., including Turkey.

The E-2 Investor Visa Process: The U.S. E-2 visa is a renewable investor visa available to citizens of select countries – including Turkey – which allows the investor to set up a new or existing business in the U.S.  The E-2 application provides long-term visa status for the applicant, his/her spouse, and children under 21.  It is possible to apply for an E-2 visa from inside the U.S. or apply overseas at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Is the E-2 Difficult to Get?: While the E-2 Investor Visa has very specific requirements, if these requirements are met and the applicant – working with a qualified immigration attorney and business plan preparer – submits a well-documented and complete application, and performs adequately in their visa interview, the odds of approval are quite high.  Historically, the E-2 visa has a roughly 90% approval rate.  Processing time varies, but it is usually possible to complete the E-2 process in about 3 months.

Requirements for an E-2 Visa include:

-The applicant must be a citizen of an E-2 Treaty country;

-The applicant must be willing to invest in a new or existing business in the U.S. and be willing and able to manage and direct that business (not a passive investment);

-The investment must be “substantial”, an amount that varies depending on the type of business ($150,000 is a good baseline);

-The applicant must detail the lawful “Source of Funds” for the investment capital; and

-The applicant must prepare a comprehensive business plan for the new or existing  E-2 business, including financial projections and staffing plans.

Do you see opportunities for Turkish companies to invest and penetrate U.S Market?

Absolutely - 2021 was a record setting for Turkey-U.S. bilateral trade and investment, and 2022 looks like it may be even better, with positive trends across a range of bilateral issues including commercial ties, spurred on by the new Turkey-U.S. Strategic Mechanism and a shifting geopolitical landscape making positive Turkey-U.S. ties more vital than ever.  Turkey’s main exports to the U.S. remain textiles and footwear, machinery and appliances, stone, glass and metals, and transportation equipment.  These are traditional sectors for Turkish exports to the U.S., although some new Turkish niche products and services as well as technology services may be added to the bilateral trade mix.  Next year, 2023, is obviously a vitally important year for Turkey, and could see a major increase in Turkey-US commercial relations.  Not only is 2023 the 100th anniversary of the Turkish Republic, 2023 will also witness Turkey’s Sakarya gas field coming onstream.   Turkey may even become an energy exporter, greatly enhancing its already pivotal role in the regional and global energy security domain in this time of acute shortages and supply disruptions. 

At the small business level, our firm has been proud to assist Turkish investors to enter the U.S. market through the E-2 Treaty Investor visa.  With an investment of $100,000 to $150,000 in a new or existing business, Turkish investors can start their U.S. business in a whole range of sectors while gaining an indefinitely renewable U.S. visa.  Such small businesses have always been a seedbed of entrepreneurship, particularly among immigrant communities.  Many successful Turkish entrepreneurs in the U.S., such as Hamdi Ulukaya (Chobani), began as immigrant entrepreneurs or built their careers thanks to a foundation from their entrepreneurial immigrant parents. 

For any Turkish entrepreneurs or would-be entrepreneurs wishing to pursue their American Dream, our firm will be hosting an informational webinar on July 22nd to share textured insight into the E-2 Investor Visa.  Our webinar will include an immigrant entrepreneur and former U.S. Army veteran who will share his immigrant success story and offer valuable practical tips on setting up and successfully running a small business in America. 

One last note - It is worth adding that the E-1 Treaty Trader visa is also an exciting option for those in Turkey engaged in the import and export of goods and services who would like to operate their trading business in the U.S.  The E-1 visa is available to Turks who wish to set up a trading enterprise between the US, Turkey, and other markets.  For both the E-2 and E-1 visas, we offer business selection support, business plan support, investment support and secure funds transfer, immigration processing support, and visa compliance oversight to allow a trouble-free transition to the entrepreneur’s dream of being her or his own boss.  The good news is that in the U.S., bureaucratic hurdles and time needed to register and run a business are substantially less than in most countries.  In addition, the prestige of being a small business entrepreneur in America is substantial.  In fact, in a 2022 Gallup poll, small business ranked as the Number 1 most trusted institution in the U.S., even surpassing the military.  

 US and Turkey governments have 100 billion dollars trade volume objective. Is it possible? Which industries do you see opportunities or challenges?

Going back a long way to 2001, when I was the Turkey Economic Desk Officer at the Department of State, we were proud to achieve over $5 billion in U.S.-Turkey bilateral trade, and $1 billion in U.S. FDI in Turkey.  So, despite many bilateral challenges since then, the commercial relationship has definitely come a long way.  After hovering around $20 billion for the past decade, 2021 was a record year with trade volume nearing $30 billion.  President Erdogan’s ambitious goal of $100 billion would require the U.S.-Turkey relationship reaching a qualitatively different level.  As discussed earlier, the Strategic Mechanism, if advanced seriously by both countries, could lay the foundation for such a sustained expansion to a more strategic relationship including in the trade sphere.  Ideally, commercial ties would be allowed to flourish, and bilateral issues would be resolved amicably, without the volatility and disruptions to the economic relationship caused by periodic differences in the national security and regional policy sphere.  The UNGA meetings in New York coming up in September would be an ideal opportunity for Presidents Erdogan and Biden to meet and demonstrate their goodwill and mutual commitment to allow U.S.-Turkey bilateral ties to finally move closer to their full potential.

As I noted earlier, Turkey’s enhanced standing in the energy sector offers an opportunity for it to play a pivotal role in the energy industry, perhaps including a far higher level of engagement in the traditional and renewable energy sectors in the U.S. in the future.  In addition, health-and pharmaceuticals trade, especially given the ongoing challenges brought on by the pandemic, also present an opportunity.  Finally, trade in defense material, now on hold due to U.S. sanctions instituted after Turkish acquisition of the Russian S-400 missile defense system, offer high potential.  While Turkey still has not activated the S-400s, their presence has held up the sale of U.S. F-16 fighters to Turkey.  Getting by this impasse presents one of the challenges to increased U.S.-defense trade in particular, but also to solidifying the overall bilateral relationship.

About Ramin Asgard

Mr. Asgard is Founder and Managing Attorney at Asgard Law Offices, a U.S. based immigration law and global migration firm. Prior to resuming the practice of law, Mr. Asgard served as Senior Vice President for Global Business Development with First Pathway Partners, a US-based investment and global services firm. Previously, Mr. Asgard was a highly decorated veteran U.S. Foreign Service Officer with the Department of State, including tours as POLAD for GEN James Mattis and GEN David Petraeus at U.S. Central Command, Director of the Iran Regional Presence Office – Dubai, Director of the Persian Service at Voice of America, and Economic/Commercial Officer in Kabul.  Mr. Asgard is a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a member of Phi Beta Kappa and the American Immigration Lawyers’ Association and serves on the Advisory Board of the Turkish Heritage Organization.   Mr. Asgard holds a JD from Tulane University, a Master’s in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania, and a BA summa cum laude from Temple University. 

USEA Director Hollis:' We need to find ways to work together"

CNNTurk interviewed United States Energy Association Acting Director Sheila Hollis.Director Hollis highlighted the importance between U.S. and Turkey energy partnership.

Here are the highlights:

Energy Partnership Opportunities between Two Countries:


U.S. is developing a lot of things that are right now that are going to be responsive to reducing CO2 overall, and I think that's something Turkey would want to do, too. You have tremendous hydro resources already and would not emit a tremendous sophistication in that arena. You have a lot of sunshine in Turkey too. So I think that those three things are things that we can all agree on. That's obviously the complexities of world politics and up the ups and downs of all of the countries around all of us, in the world in these tumultuous and demanding times with respect, certainly COVID, but transcends COVID. I think that there's definitely a way for us to continue to work together.We need each other for trade purposes, we need each other for cultural purposes. We just need each other and it is such a complicated unfolding world, basically what's going on in the Middle East. And what's going on in Europe with respect to energy supplies, the need is so great. In many countries, the resilience is low, the transition from coal heavy coal going on, but you have to replace it with something that's available, affordable, and can be deployed. So we both share having large countries with diversity, diversity of energy, diversity of people, diversity of perspectives.

Energy Crisis and Resources Worldwide :

I think we both need to continue to explore how do we get there, how do we reach the promised land where we're reducing CO2 over time, at a pace which is achievable, without diminishing the basic human need to, to receive energy and to utilize energy.We're looking at hundreds of years since the beginning of time, we've been able to track changes in the biosphere, changes in the structure, the geological structure of the country, there's continuous movement under the under the earth, as you know, we have all the earthquakes, all of the geological things that are developing and aren't could just continue on, we can see that the the, beneath our feet, the world is changing continuously. And there are many aspects that are just from an astronomical standpoint, there's a lot of things that are happening in the universe, which impact whether it's a meteor, or we know that there's things in the universe which impact earth as we know it. Whether it's solar, solar flares, solar, solar winters, there's a lot of things which may or may not have something to do, we have a pretty small entity in that huge universe, the earth. So I think that the honest Fact is, we have got to find ways to work together and get through the short term and medium term until we develop energy, which is non emitting clean, accessible, renewable, and conserve the needs of the world, because we still have 30% of the world, the human beings in the world have no energy at all, they have no energy supply at all. And that is one of the great, shocking statistics when you get down to it. So how do we get energy from those people just for their survival? And B, how do we get energy to peoples of the world that may have some form of energy, but they're not able to participate in modern society because they don't have electric energy, and that they can utilize electronic devices to communicate with one another. So there's a whole lot of layers of things that have to happen without us. I think, for those of us that actually were impacted by that time, it changed the mindset to try and develop, develop, develop, develop our own resources, and be ready.

Sometimes we fall off the side of the road that doesn't tend to it as much, but I think every country has got to take a look at what their energy supply is. There are some countries that have such limited energy supplies, in order to keep the populace alive and for the developed world to give them energy and usca. Let me say the USEA is working hard in those countries, Uganda has only 30% of the people who have energy supply, and it's hydro. And so we're trying to help them plan out a transmission system to distribute that hydro further to more people. But those things cannot be done with a snap of a finger. These are long term projects, and to train the people to get the people up and running as to how to run a huge huge hydro system, how to develop the transmission lines, how to keep the transmission line. First, how to cite them, how to keep them safe, and how to get them to the people that have always made them, that's just one segment of the complexities of the world. Just looking at the facts on the ground, the stunning facts of the lack of energy and 30% of the world is a harsh reality. So we're trying to deal with that we're trying to do it in a way which takes account of the environmental issues, which takes account of co2, which says all those things. But first, we've got to get energy from them. And then we can try to build it out in a way that diminishes the chances for more out of control CO2 emissions, and we have to clean up what we got. So there, that's where the energy, that's where the energy world is a sophisticated player in the energy world.

Energy is the core of everything in most countries, it's where the action is. It's the infrastructure, it's where the what's where the dollars are, the money is so big associated with energy. It's a huge problem. It's, it's, I'd say, the environment and energy is probably at poverty, poverty, displaying poverty in many countries, it is the challenge we have, in addition to the political, religious, cultural, ongoing sagas that have inflicted on one another worldwide for four centuries.

Paris Climate Agreement,Turkey's Recent Action and Upcoming Glasgow Summit

Well, I think the assumption is that there will be good things that will come out of that very good things. And that Turkey because it has resources, it needs more, but it has resources and it has sophisticated technology. And they and a very sophisticated coterie of scientists and thinkers, and visionaries who can take their knowledge and contributed beyond the shores of Turkey and to move to take some of the things that have been learned in Turkey, how you've been able to utilize hydro, how you've been able to export import, how you've been able to move the Turkish economy in a direction which has diversity and energy supply.

I think the sharing of Turkey's wisdom, its resources, its technologies will be very helpful, and will be very helpful in understanding all of the extreme complexities of politics and cultural differences and all that. Turkey is a big and important country, and it has sophisticated, highly educated people who are able to deploy those intellectual gifts and knowledge further in the development of energy, and to, and really, from a diplomatic standpoint really make tremendous progress in that respect.

I know Turkey participates in a lot of things with respect to development and grid, and utilize your expertise and gain from others expertise. And it takes bravery, it takes intelligence, it takes commitment to overcome the walls that may have been built by one party or another over centuries of interactions. And to go and look at the big picture as to how the world can be helped. I think that's something that developed countries like Turkey must consider their role in the world as a very significant and mature country.

About Sheila Hollis:
https://usea.org/profile/sheila-hollis

About USEA:
https://usea.org/about-usea

Deloitte Acquires Turkish Entrepreneur's Zero Trust Network Access Provider Company TransientX

NEW YORK, July 26, 2021—Deloitte Risk & Financial Advisory announced today its acquisition of substantially all the assets of TransientX, Inc., a Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) company based in Hoboken, N.J. The deal adds TransientX’s employees and its unique, dissolvable, cloud-native application networking technology for ZTNA to Deloitte’s existing Zero Trust offerings and solutions. “As organizations modernize their enterprise environments to deal with evolving business models and complex, hyper-connected IT ecosystems, they’re typically shifting from a perimeter-centric approach to the risk-based, Zero Trust approach that enforces the concept of least privilege,” said Andrew Rafla, a Deloitte Risk & Financial Advisory Zero Trust leader and principal, Deloitte & Touche LLP. “TransientX’s technology offers the unique capability to embed Zero Trust Network Access into Deloitte’s products and services, differentiating and evolving how we deliver our offerings to our clients — which will lend support to our clients’ Zero Trust adoption efforts as well.” 

President Trump: This Is A Celebration

President Trump's made a public speech and celebrated his Senate acquittal on Thursday at the White House. His legal team, cabinet members, and GOP Congressional Leadership and as well as Trump's Family, were present at the historical program.

"We've been going through this now for over three years. It was evil. It was corrupt. It was dirty cops. It was leakers and liars. And this should never, ever happen to another President ever. I don't know that other Presidents would have been able to take it. Some people said, no, they wouldn't have. But I can tell you, at a minimum, you have to focus on this because it can get away very quickly. No matter who you have with you, it can get away very quickly. It was a disgrace." he told a full packed East Room crowd.

"This is a day of celebration because we went through hell," President Trump told the crowd, describing his impeachment as "all bullshit" and criticizing many of Democrats who stole the country's time with false allegations. "These people are vicious. Adam Schiff is a vicious, horrible person. Nancy Pelosi is a horrible person."," Trump said during his East Room remarks

President Trump has thanked many people in the crowd, especially Senate Majority Leader Mitch Connell. "Mitch, I want to tell you: You did a fantastic job." President Trump said.

Apologizing from his Family:

"I want to apologize to my family for having them have to go through a phony, rotten deal by some very evil and sick people. And Ivanka is here, and my -- my sons and my whole family, and that includes Barron. "President Trump said during his East Room remarks. He hugged his daughter Ivanka Trump and invited First Lady Melanie Trump to the podium. 

Quick Highlights:

-President Trump focused the future and indicated that he would win again in 2020. He also believes that Republicans will get the majority in the House.

- President Trump brandished newspapers such as Washington Post and USA Today with banner headlines saying he had been acquitted.

-Television networks carried the lengthy remarks live, but President Trump did not take any questions after his remarks

- President Trump referred to "dirty cops," "leakers," "liars," and "nasty and horrible people," whom he blamed for his impeachment.

-President Trump called Senator Romney, who ran for president in 2012, "a failed presidential candidate," saying, "things can happen when you fail so badly running."

- There were over 100 people at the East Room, White House

On the Celebration day at White House, President Trump says al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula leader Qasim al-Rimi was killed in a US counterterrorism operation in Yemen.

President Trump will be traveling to Charlotte to address the North Carolina "Opportunity Now" Summit on Friday. This will be his 4th visit to Charlotte.

(Pictures taken by Ali Cinar-White House)

*TV Interviews after the President's Remarks.

An Hour-by-hour Look at How Turkey's Attempted Coup Unfolded One Year Ago

ISTANBUL (AP) — A year ago Saturday, a group of Turkish soldiers using tanks, warplanes and helicopters launched a plot to overthrow Turkey's president and government. The coup attempt failed, but the fallout continues a year later. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan swiftly blamed his one-time ally, U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, who is in exile in the U.S. and denies the allegations that he was behind the coup. The two had a public falling out in 2013, when Gulen's organization was declared a terror organization and a clampdown began.

How Chobani Won the Greek Yogurt War with Experiential Marketing

Ten years ago, Greek yogurt represented less than 1% of U.S. yogurt sales. Today, it's almost half of the total market. What changed? In a word, Chobani. Launched by Hamdi Ulukaya in 2007, the Idaho-based brand introduced Greek yogurt to the American palate. Chobani now controls 38% of the Greek category, significantly outpacing former heavyweights like Yoplait and Dannon. The man responsible for Chobani's rise, perhaps just as much as the brand's founder, is CMO Peter McGuinness. Hired in 2013, McGuinness saw that the Greek yogurt market had become oversaturated.

A True "Abi": Remembering Ziya G. Boyacigiller

Image By Nakiye A. Boyacıgiller, Ph.D. - Two years ago I lost the love of my life, my husband of 39 years (sweetheart for 43), Ziya G. Boyacıgiller. When our friends at TPF asked me to write about Ziya, a founding partner and board member of the organization, I hesitated. How should I describe such an amazing man with so many wonderful attributes to those who might have never met him? Ziya did not like talking about himself; one of his main qualities, indeed was his humility. I believe this makes it even more important to tell his story.

Varol Ablak's Zing Basket Delivers Groceries in Record Time with New Online Service

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Varol Ablak picks groceries in Zing Basket?s cold storage warehouse. Image courtesy of Zing Basket.
Imagine having milk, bread, eggs and other necessities brought to your door in less time than it takes to order a pizza. That’s the goal with Zing Basket, an on-demand grocery delivery service that just launched in Pittsburgh. Described as the nation’s first 45-minute online grocery delivery service, Zing Basket allows customers to choose from over 2,000 products and then place their orders by website or phone. The orders are fulfilled on-site at Zing Basket’s 9,000-square-foot warehouse in Green Tree and delivered to doors throughout Pittsburgh. Right now, the service extends to Downtown, Oakland, Mt. Washington, Mt. Lebanon, Robinson, Scott Township, Dormont and Crafton.

Roketsan and Sierra Nevada Corporation Sign MoU

Roketsan Missiles Industries of Turkey and Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) have signed an MoU at Farnborough International Airshow to explore broad areas of cooperation in air and space. SNC offers five decades of experience as an integrator and innovator in aerospace, aviation and electronics. Roketsan provides customer solutions for a broad range of capabilities and services spanning land, air and maritime defence needs.

Reza Zarrab's First Hearing to be Held in US in January 2017

Image (MENAFN - The Journal Of Turkish Weekly) A U.S. court has ruled to start the trial of Reza Zarrab, an Iranian-born Turkish businessman who was arrested in Miami in March for attempting to evade U.S. sanctions on Tehran, on Jan. 23 next year. The decision on June 20 came after U.S. District Judge Richard Berman in Manhattan denied bail on June 16 to Zarrab, who had applied to live in a lavish Manhattan apartment on a 50 million bond with private armed guards before going on trial.
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