Assistant Secretary Fernandez traveled to Ankara from May 22-24, leading a U.S. delegation to the 10th U.S.–Turkey Economic Partnership Commission (EPC) meeting. The EPC serves to advance the United States strong and growing economic partnership with Turkey on entrepreneurship, innovation, intellectual property rights, trade, and investment. Below are excerpts from the Anadolu Agency report.
Ambassador Mehmet Tugrul Gucuk, Deputy Undersecretary for Economic Affairs of the Ministry of Turkish Foreign Affairs and the United States Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs Jose W. Fernandez held a press conference on Thursday after the tenth Turkey-U.S. Economic Partnership Commission (EPC) meeting.
Amb. Gucuk said “we discussed a wide range of issues related to energy, trade, investment, infrastructure, sectoral cooperation opportunities for cooperation with third countries and have shown our commitment to increase the trade volume between Turkey and United States.” “We decided to meet twice in a year and this autumn, we decided to meet again” Gucuk added.
Assistant Secretary Fernandez said “I am glad to say that each meeting I participated in has better impact than the previous one. I think we are in special moment in our relationship. Just last week, delegation of Turkish prime minister and a number of business people from Turkey were in Washington. You can see the synergy and the opportunities existed for both countries to work together. I think we are in a special moment, I think it is our duty as government officials to do what we can to make this special moment last as long as it can be.”
Indicating two countries’ trade which have grown rapidly last two years since 2009 and the trade volume which has been doubled, Fernandez emphasized that “in this meeting, we talked about a number of concrete actions.”
About energy sector, Fernandez underlined that “we talked about cooperation of co-energy research and talked about geothermal energy”.
Fernandez said that “One of most exacting projects going on between two counties that is a “Near Zero Zone Project” in Izmir in west of Turkey.”
Fernandez added, “We talked about wonderful work which has been done in Istanbul as a financial center.”
In response to a question asked by an Anadolu Agency correspondent, “Our trade number exactly proves why exactly we are here but we believe in the potential. What we talk to them during our dialogue with Turkey was to have further discussions with our export-import banks on nuclear energy financing also to hear about new nuclear plants projects for Turkey,” Fernandez replied.
“There are a number of American companies that built the largest and most successful nuclear power plants around the world. If Turkey decides to go forward on nuclear energy, then I am sure American companies will be quite interested,” Fernandez added.
Ambassador Mehmet T. Gucuk, Deputy Undersecretary for Economic Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, led the Turkish delegation, which included representatives of the Ministries of Economy; Energy and Natural Resources; Environment and Urbanization; Food, Agriculture and Livestock; Transportation, Maritime Affairs and Communications; the Investment Support and Promotion Agency of Turkey; Turkish Medicines and Medical Devices Agency; the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Organization; the Foreign Economic Relations Board; the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey and Turkish Eximbank.
Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs Jose W. Fernandez led the United States delegation, which included representatives of the Departments of State, Agriculture, Commerce, Energy and the Office of the United States Trade Representative.
The EPC is a key component of joint efforts to strengthen the economic partnership between Turkey and the United States, as outlined in the Turkey-U.S. Framework for Strategic Economic and Commercial Cooperation (FSECC). The meeting reflects continued commitment to enhance trade and investment between the two countries. This tenth meeting of the EPC focused on exploring ways to promote joint commercial opportunities, developing specific areas of cooperation on innovation and enhancing business-to-business ties.
In line with the decision to convene the EPC twice a year and in accordance with the bilateral wish to continue the momentum in Turkish-US economic relations, the two delegations agreed to meet again later this year in Washington, DC.