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Turkey-U.S. Economic Partnership Commission Holds its 10th Meeting, 23 May 2013, Ankara

Following is the text of a joint statement issued by the Republic of Turkey and the United States of America at the conclusion of –Turkey-U.S. Economic Partnership Commission (EPC) meeting, on May 23, 2013 in Ankara, Turkey.

 

Representatives from the Government of the Republic of Turkey and the Government of the United States of America met on May 23, 2013 for the tenth Turkey-U.S. Economic Partnership Commission (EPC) meeting.  The EPC is a key component of our 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 our continued commitment to enhance trade and investment between our 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. Representatives from both countries discussed a wide range of issues related to trade, investment, and sectoral cooperation, including:

 

  • Opportunities for expanded cooperation in the energy sector, including energy efficiency, and a variety of energy generation technologies.  The delegations discussed efforts to promote U.S. private sector investment in Turkey’s energy sector and to expand U.S. government engagement with Turkey’s energy agencies. There was agreement that cooperation on energy activities has been successful and that it would be beneficial to continue the energy related discussion in future regular meetings of the bilateral Energy Working Group.

  • Cooperation on promoting infrastructure development.  The delegations explored ways to foster cooperation in the infrastructure sector, focusing on transportation and information technology and communications.

  • Promoting entrepreneurship and innovation, increasing business-to-business connections and expanding areas for cooperation in various fields.  The delegations talked about the innovation agenda, including continuing efforts to promote entrepreneurship and business-to-business contacts in rapidly growing sectors.  The delegations agreed to continue cooperation on SMEs as well as through the Global Entrepreneurship Program (GEP) and Partners for a New Beginning (PNB). There was also broad agreement that respect for intellectual property rights is critical to fostering innovation and the entrepreneurial eco-system.  The U.S. noted the importance of amendments to Turkey’s Patent Law prepared by the Turkish Patent Institute, which will significantly improve Turkey’s IPR protection.

  • A discussion of next steps on working together to enhance Istanbul as an international financial center (IFC).  The delegations reviewed Turkey’s progress on its IFC action plan, and discussed specific areas of further and potential cooperation on measures to make Turkey more attractive for foreign investment in the financial sector.

  • Commitment to promote economic development in third countries, particularly in North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa.  The delegations discussed ongoing efforts to support the transition countries in North Africa.  The delegations also discussed ways to facilitate private sector partnerships between Turkish and the U.S. companies in third countries.  The United States expressed appreciation for Turkey’s participation as a regional partner in the Deauville Partnership for Arab Countries in Transition.

  • Discussion of expanding trade and investment in pharmaceuticals.  The delegations reviewed progress on steps to increase bilateral trade and investment in the pharmaceutical industry, a fast-growing and innovation-based sector.

  • The importance of developing policies that encourage additional bilateral trade in agricultural goods.  The delegations discussed ways to further expand agricultural trade.

Ambassador Mehmet T. Gücük, 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.

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.