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Washington, D.C. – United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, and Turkish Minister of State for Foreign Trade Zafer Çağlayan are pleased to release the following statement, which outlines the overall results of the October 19, 2010, meeting of the U.S. – Turkey Framework for Strategic Economic and Commercial Cooperation.
“We met today in the first formal session of the Framework for Strategic Economic and Commercial Cooperation (“the Framework”). This new process of ministerial level engagement between the governments of Turkey and the United States was inspired by the commitment of our two Presidents in April of 2009 to seek an enhancement of our bilateral economic relations, the goal of which is to intensify economic and commercial cooperation across a wide range of areas through improved bilateral trade and investment and increased cooperation where possible in global markets. Having announced the formation of the process last December, we are pleased that we have been able to come together today to begin our deliberations in earnest.
“The United States and Turkey each have a strong incentive to pursue an intensified bilateral economic relationship. Turkey is a fast-rising economic actor in its region and in the world and many of its firms would like to explore new opportunities in the U.S. market. American companies in turn see vast commercial potential in a rapidly developing Turkey of 73 million people, with onward connections to markets in Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia and beyond.
“We reiterated the importance of the establishment of the Turkey-U.S. Business Council. The Council would bring together American and Turkish business leaders to jointly identify ways to strengthen bilateral economic ties, and develop joint policy recommendations for the U.S. and Turkish governments.
“Our discussion today was the beginning of a new phase in our economic relations, in which we attempt to forge much closer cooperation in several areas, ranging from trade and investment to energy, and from technology and innovation to closer collaboration between our government institutions. We instructed the Framework component mechanisms, the Trade and Investment Council, the Economic Partnership Commission and the Energy Working Group, to explore new and creative ways to spur new economic cooperation over the coming months, and to report back to us by the time of the next Framework meeting. Our political commitment to strengthen our economic relations will establish a firmer footing on which new business partnerships can be established in the future.
“We also held a frank and open dialogue towards creating a common understanding about and overcoming certain difficulties that our companies have encountered as they try to increase their involvement in each other's market. We stand ready to engage with each other wherever possible to identify solutions to these matters and challenges in our bilateral trade.
“Our common goal is to find ways to foster the ability of our companies to succeed in taking greater advantage of the business opportunities that exist in our markets and globally as we deepen and broaden our strategic partnership.
“We envision holding the next meeting of the Framework at ministerial level in Turkey in 2011, at a date to be determined.”