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Ambassador Kirk met today with Turkey's Trade Minister, Zafer Caglayan. Ambassador Kirk and Minister Caglayan underscored their commitment to work together to enhance bilateral economic ties, in furtherance of President Obama's agreement in that regard with Turkish President Gul during the President's April 2009 visit to Turkey. Ambassador Kirk noted to Minister Caglayan that the United States and Turkey have an opportunity to build two way bilateral trade and investment, but only if both sides listen closely to the views of stakeholders. He stressed the important role enhanced trade relations between the two countries could play in contributing to job growth in both countries.
Turkey is one of the United States' closest allies and is an increasingly important trading partner. U.S. Turkish two-way goods trade totaled $10.8 billion in 2009. US. goods exports to Turkey in 2009 were $7.1 billion. Turkey is a rising economic power in its region and its companies are expanding their reach throughout the Middle East, Central Asia and the Caucuses, in addition to the country's close economic ties to the European Union. U.S. companies, though concerned with a number of barriers to entry to the Turkish market, generally see significant business potential in the country, especially as a gateway to neighboring regions.