Appointments to U.S.-Turkey Business Council Announced by Obama Trade Official during Trade Mission

The following is the December 3, 2012 press release by International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce. 

ANKARA, TURKEY – Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Francisco Sánchez today announced the new U.S. private sector members of the U.S.-Turkey Business Council in Ankara. The private sector members of the Council, made up of senior-level executives from the United States and Turkey, provide policy recommendations to both governments jointly on ways to strengthen bilateral economic relations. Sánchez is currently leading a delegation of 18 U.S. companies on an Aerospace and Defense trade mission to Ankara and Istanbul. 

Turkey is a critical commercial partner for the United States, with bilateral trade reaching record levels last year. The U.S.-Turkey Business Council serves as an important mechanism for bolstering economic ties, building on previous successes, and prescribing new ways in which to match needs and opportunities. Through trade missions, match-making, removing market access barriers, and forging new partnerships, the opportunities for increased bilateral trade between the United States and Turkey are numerous.

“The Council plays an important role in facilitating the exchange of information

and encourages bilateral discussions of business and economic issues that impact both the United States and Turkey,” Sánchez said. U.S.-Turkey bilateral trade grew by 34 percent in 2011, reaching almost $20 billion. U.S. exports to Turkey rose 38 percent, totaling $14.6 billion, making Turkey the 21st largest U.S. export market.

“I am excited about our growing commercial relations and am pleased to be bringing some of America’s premier companies to Turkey with me,” said Sánchez.

The following new U.S. Section members will serve until November 5, 2014:

  • Charles Johnston, Senior VP, International Government Affairs (Citigroup) – U.S. Section Chair
  • Scarlett Alvarez, VP and Chief Stakeholder Officer (AES)
  • Rafael Fernandez, VP-Emerging Europe, Middle East and Africa (Amgen)
  • Daniel Matthews, Managing Partner (Baker & McKenzie)
  • Heather Pederson, Senior Director of International Operations & Policy (Boeing)
  • Douglas Parks, Global Director of Light Weight Materials and Government Markets (Dow)
  • James Renigar, Senior Counsel-Global Government Affairs & Policy (GE)
  • Gustavo Calvo Paz, President-Middle East, Eastern Europe and Africa (Kimberly-Clark)
  • Koray Kotan, Managing Director (Ko-Tech)
  • Can Karayel, Country Manager (Langan)
  • Jeffrey Kemprecos, Executive Director of Public Policy & Corporate Responsibility (Merck)
  • Michael Harrell, Country Manager (UPS)

The trade mission continues to Istanbul, where participating companies will seek

to identify profitable opportunities in Turkey and increase U.S. export potential in joint cooperation with Turkish companies.


For more information, contact ITA Office of Public Affairs at (202) 482-3809.

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