Not only Turkey will struggle if isolated from TTIP

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 26.04.2016 01:04
Updated 26.04.2016 01:05

While negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) are in progress, Turkey is working hard for its inclusion in a partnership in one of the most comprehensive agreements in the history of international trade. Turkey's exclusion from the agreement would not only harm Turkish companies but international ones as well.

The president of the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEİK) Ömer Cihad Vardan said the American Business Forum in Turkey is concerned and preparing a report on how American companies based in Turkey could be affected by the TTIP. Vardan said the report will be published soon, adding, "After all, the Turkish branches of companies belonging to the TTIP region will be negatively affected. We should not let this matter fall off the radar."

According to Vardan, DEİK discussed Turkey's participation in the TTIP with the CEOs and presidents of major American companies during a roundtable meeting held after last month's Nuclear Security Summit in Washington. He said that summit participants did not know the extent to which Turkey would be negatively affected by exclusion from the TTIP, adding that the messages given by representatives of the Turkish business world and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan have raised awareness about the problem.

Speaking to journalists i n Istanbul, Vardan noted that the business world and the government, as well as international lobbyists, must do their share for Turkey's inclusion in the TTIP. Vardan likened the agreement process to arm wrestling, where all parties strive to defeat each other, saying, "As a party affected by this agreement, both the government and the private sector must do their best to prepare the necessary ground which will lead Turkey to a favorable outcome. This is not an easy task."

Underlining that a conflict with the customs union agreement between Turkey and the EU is the main problem with the TTIP, Vardan said Turkey must eliminate this conflict. In reference to the fact that Turkey and the EU, as well as their production conditions and requirements, are not the same as they were 20 years ago, Vardan said the customs union must be adjusted to suit modern day circumstances.

3 American energy firms plan new investments in Turkey

After last month's roundtable meeting with American businessmen, the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEİK) announced that major American companies, including three major energy companies - First Solar, Noble Energy and Noil Energy - plan to invest in Turkey. In addition to Westinghouse and Honeywell, Dow Chemical will also be making investments which will create 1,300 new jobs in Turkey.

DEİK Chairman Ömer Cihad Vardan said that American business circles have a positive perception on Turkey, adding that no company CEOs or presidents have voiced complaints about Turkey, rather announcing that they plan to boost investments in Turkey during the roundtable meeting.

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