Turkish American businessmen stated that Turkey’s economy had grown rapidly in the past decade as Turkey targeted being in the Top Ten Economies by 2023, the centennial of the Turkish Republic.
Trade between the U.S. and Turkey has been strengthening after President Obama and former Turkish President Gul signed the Framework for Strategic Economic and Commercial Cooperation (FSECC) in 2009. But, as the 34th largest trading partner of the US with $18.7 billion (both ways) in 2013 and $12.9 billion in the first eight months of 2014, Turkish businesses are not satisfied and plan to apply more aggressive strategies to penetrate the American market, commensurate with how well Turkish business have done in Europe.
MUSIAD USA believes that trade between the two countries can be enhanced through the improvement domestic economic improvements and enhanced people-to-people and business-to-business interactions. MUSIAD USA recommended establishing a Trade Zone in Maryland. The Trade Zone would be a place where businesses owned by Turkish companies might co-locate their existing or new U.S. operations in an environment conducive to cooperation and collaboration.
MUSIAD USA also recommended that Turkey be part of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TP) because of Turkey’s geopolitical situation and rising economy.
At a person-to-person level, MUSIAD USA recommended Sister City Programs between Maryland and Turkey. Sister city relationships are official links between local governments overseen by Mayors or Governors. The Sister City protocol includes strengthening economic, cultural, trade, business and social relationships between the cities.
Moreover, arranging business trips to bring both Turkish and American Businessmen together is extremely essential to increase trade between the two countries. Lt. Governor Brown promised that he will visit Turkey with a group of Turkish American businessmen next year.
The Turkish American businessman recommended that the governor’s cabinet include a member of the Turkish American community, that private Turkish language course count toward high school foreign language credit, and a Turkish American Heritage Day in Annapolis every year.
Lt. Anthony Brown expressed his interest in working closely with Turkish American businesses and families in Maryland. He emphasized that creating jobs and removing barriers for investors was among his priorities.