President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said Türkiye was seeking to increase the amount of liquified natural gas (LNG) purchased from the United States, also stressing it was ready for cooperation to deliver it to other nations in the region.
Erdoğan’s remarks came as he stated that Türkiye and the U.S. “have mutual trade and investment opportunities in almost every sector,” also highlighting his country’s key role in diversifying routes and resources for energy security.
“Turkey has a key role in route and resource diversification for energy security. Our potential for cooperation in the field of energy offers us significant opportunities considering the current international conjuncture,” Erdoğan told a meeting of the Turkish-American Business Council in New York on Wednesday.
“We want to increase the volume of gas that we buy from the United States on more favorable terms in the coming period,” he noted.
Türkiye’s investments in natural gas infrastructure, including LNG terminals, enabled the U.S. to become the country’s second biggest gas supplier, Erdoğan said. And Türkiye has become U.S.’ sixth biggest LNG customer in the world, he added.
“Thanks to our developed infrastructure, we are ready to cooperate in delivering American LNG to the countries of the region,” Erdoğan said.
Among others, Erdoğan also called for the lifting of U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs imposed on Türkiye in 2018. He said such a move would significantly contribute to joint efforts between the two nations.
On goods exchange, the president said trade volume with the U.S. will reach $100 billion (TL 1.8 trillion) “in a short time” if the current momentum is kept decisively.
The bilateral trade increased by nearly 30% in the first eight months of this year compared to the same period of the previous year and reached $22 billion, he said.
“If this momentum is maintained with the right and decisive steps, our trade volume will reach the goal of $100 billion in a short time,” Erdoğan added.
He said the U.S. and Türkiye are “friendly” and “strategic” partners and the cooperation between the two nations has contributed to the peace in certain regions around the world.
He said direct investments from the U.S. in Türkiye reached $14.1 billion and Turkish companies’ investments in the U.S. reached the level of $8.6 billion.
Erdoğan recalled that the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s war in Ukraine have disrupted supply chains mainly in the food and energy sectors and many countries are struggling with high inflation rates.
He said Türkiye managed to overcome these challenges in terms of growth, exports and employment, adding the Turkish economy registered 11% growth last year, which he said was the largest rate among G-20 nations.
Despite the pandemic, Türkiye maintained its balanced growth, and its exports exceeded $250 billion on an annual basis as of September, said Erdoğan.
Between 2003-2021, Türkiye attracted more than $240 billion in foreign direct investment and $14 billion last year, said the president.
Erdoğan also said that Türkiye hosted more than 500,000 American tourists in the first seven months of this year. That happened thanks to the contribution of Turkish Airlines flying from Istanbul to 12 destinations in the U.S., he added.
“I believe that this number will increase in the coming period,” Erdoğan said.