Turkey, US discuss raising bilateral trade to $100 bn.

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Turkish trade minister RuhsarPekcan has said her country and the United States discussed steps to take bilateral trade to $100 billion from $20.6 billion in 2018. She said this during the recent four-day visit of US secretary of commerce Wilbur Ross to Turkey. Turkey conveyed its expectations for the removal of certain practices impeding bilateral trade.

“During our meeting, we discussed ways to unleash Turkey’s export capacity to the U.S., particularly in the sectors of civil aviation, automotive, sub-automotive, jewellery, furniture and textiles. To this end, we elaborated on access to distribution networks in the U.S. and agreed on preparing tailor-made programs for companies on a sectoral basis,” Pekcan said on Twitter.

Turkey’s exports to the United States were worth $8.3 billion, while it imports totalled $12.3 billion, according to data from the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat). In the January to July period this year, the sale of Turkish goods and products to the US was worth $4.6 billion and US exports to Turkey were $6.6 billion, according to Turkish media reports.

In a meeting in April, both sides facilitated the formation of a joint working group to draw up a road map to enhance bilateral trade ties. Ross also participated in the executive board meeting of the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK) Turkey-US Business Council (TAIK) on Saturday, according to a statement from TAIK.

In his address at the meeting, Ross emphasized that Turkey and the U.S. should contribute equally to the $100 billion trade target. There are 1,700 US companies currently operating in Turkey. Intergovernmental cooperation is not adequate to reach the trade goal and cooperation between the Turkish and American private sectors is essential, Ross specifically pointed out.