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Business Opportunities in Turkey

Business Opportunities in Turkey published on

Authored by U.S. Department of Commerce

As the most eastern country in the West and the most western country in the East, Turkey presents excellent immediate and long-term opportunities for American firms. Turkey’s growing economy, favorable geographical position and demography, growing consumer middle class, solid banking sector, and the dynamism of its entrepreneurial class have made this country a growing market for U.S. exporters. Over 1,000 American firms have made Turkey their home, across virtually all industry sectors. However, like many emerging markets, Turkey presents a range of challenges to doing business, including turbulent politics, occasional civil demonstrations, regional instability, complex bureaucracy, onerous terms and conditions in government contracts, a weakened judicial system, and market access barriers in the strategic life sciences and agricultural sectors. American firms are encouraged to work closely with the U.S. Mission in Turkey to vet potential projects, find qualified partners, and conduct due diligence.

For many decades, the United States and Turkey have enjoyed deep and broad political and military relations. While we do not always agree on every issue, both countries partner closely on a range of regional and international problems. As a NATO member since 1952, Turkey has supported the Alliance’s missions around the world, including Afghanistan, Iraq, the Balkans, and other areas. Turkey’s geographic position makes it an important energy and logistics corridor, linking Europe with the Middle East, the Caucasus and Central Asia. Since 2002, Turkey’s economy has averaged 5% growth, raising average GDP per capita from $3,000 to over $10,000. This has resulted in a boom in infrastructure and consumer spending, as seen in the multiple bridge, airport, hospital, highway, and shopping mall projects around the country. Turkey’s economic growth has fueled increased energy imports, which have widened a Current Account Deficit that presents a structural impediment to long-term growth. Despite the Fed’s Quantitative Easing and other domestic factors, the Turkish economy has thus far proved largely resilient to global economic headwinds. Average economic growth into 2016 is forecast at 4%.

Since 2009, the U.S. and Turkish governments have placed increased emphasis on growing two-way trade and investment. The bilateral Framework for Strategic Commercial and Economic Cooperation (FSECC) is chaired at the Cabinet-level to discuss key areas of strategic economic cooperation. FSECC and other bilateral mechanisms get private sector input through the U.S.-Turkey Business Council, which provides recommendations for increasing trade. U.S.-Turkish trade peaked at nearly $20 billion in 2011, with a modest retreat to just under $19 billion in 2013. Through First Quarter 2014, U.S.-Turkey trade stood at $4.5 billion. Ongoing U.S.-European Union negotiations to conclude the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) are watched closely by Turkey, given its Customs Union with the EU. Turkey remains committed to joining the European Union, however this process has been slow and difficult. While a U.S-Turkey Free Trade Agreement is not being considered at this time, the U.S. has committed to keep Turkey informed of TTIP progress through a joint High Level Committee.

Publication Date:
Sep 10 2014
1502326507 / 9781502326508
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
8.5″ x 11″
Black and White
Related Categories:
Business & Economics / International / General


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