Turkey's president said Monday that he expects economic relations between his country and the US to grow to reach their "real full potential.”
Speaking in New York City at an event organized by the Turkey-US Business Council, Recep Tayyip Erdogan reminded businesspeople from across the US of the 70-year alliance between the two countries.
"This very special and steadfast cooperation of ours has contributed to peace, stability and security in a great many parts of the world for years," he said. "The critical developments that have taken place recently have once again shown the significance and value of the strategic partnership between our countries."
He pointed out cooperation opportunities between Turkey and the US, including security, defense and investments and stated his belief that differences in opinions which occur from time to time between countries can be overcome through dialogue, solidarity and mutual respect.
Noting that US President Joe Biden fully shares the understanding that developing economic relations between the two countries is "both possible and necessary," Erdogan reiterated both leaders' determination to expand the bilateral trade volume to $100 billion, which is "a realistic target and is easily achievable as long as the right steps are taken."
Erdogan noted that the bilateral trade volume between the US and Turkey rose to $21 billion over the last year despite pandemic conditions and recalled that Turkey ranks third among the countries which the US exports to the most.
Stating his hope for the trade volume to reach $25 billion by the end of 2021, he went on to say that mutual investments play a significant role in the development of economic and trade relations.
The number of US-based companies conducting business in Turkey had reached 1,971 by June 2021 and the US's direct investments in Turkey reached $13 billion, Erdogan remarked.
He added that Turkish investors, on the other hand, made direct investments worth $7.2 billion in the US, standing further out in global trade with cost-effective and vast production opportunities, a well-educated workforce and modern logistic infrastructure.
Erdogan cited that Turkey ranked second among the G20 countries with its 1.8% growth rate in the last year and became one of the countries that expanded its industrial production within the G20 during the same period.
One of the means to strengthen economic and trade cooperation is through diversification of the fields of cooperation, he said.
"The field of energy holds serious opportunities for both countries...I believe our cooperation in this field will advance more in the coming period."
Commenting that businesspeople are the envoys of friendship and partnership between two counties, Erdogan said Turkey and the US should boost dialogue and cooperation to reach the "real full potential" of the economic and trade partnership.
*Writing by Dilan Pamuk in Ankara