Executive Director, AmCham Turkey/ABFT
Hale Altan

Message from the Executive Director

Our cooperation with one of the leading countries of the Euro-Atlantic community, the United States of America (U.S.), has evolved over the last half century to a "Model Partnership" that includes economy, trade and investment dimensions. The economic, trade, investment and business ties between the two countries have gained momentum in the recent years, and are considered as the fundamental parameters of Turkish - American relations.

We observe a much stronger potential for the economic and commercial relations between Turkey and the U.S. Today, transatlantic geography constitutes half of the global revenue and one third of the global trade volume. In line with the improvement of bilateral relations between Turkey and the U.S., our trade volume doubled in the last decade and reached USD 17.5 billion. By 2016, the U.S. became the 5th most significant export market for our country. Moreover, Turkish exports to the U.S. are on an increasing trend, reaching USD 6.5 billion as of 2016 year-end. The U.S. share in total exports is approximately 5%. 

There are more than 1,500 U.S. companies operating in Turkey as of December 2016. These companies compete in the global markets, make high-tech and high value-added production, and take part in the global value chains. The U.S. companies that produce in Turkey for decades, have provided investment, employment, and revenue, and played a leading role in transferring best practices to our country.

Within this framework, established in 2004 as an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the American Business Forum in Turkey (AmCham Turkey/ABFT) represents U.S. companies investing in Turkey, with the mission of: further strengthening business and investment climate and increasing bilateral trade and investments between Turkey and the U.S. Our association aims for Turkey to be among the most competitive economies of the world and increase its share of foreign direct investments. ABFT, has more than 125 members, which have over USD 54 billion of investments in Turkey and create employment for 90,000 people. Our members contribute significantly to the country’s economy through their annual tax payments that amount to TRY 12 billion. Additionally, AmCham Turkey/ABFT aims to increase investments to Turkey through its international relations network and collaborations with AmChams in Europe and U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

AmCham Turkey/ABFT pushes its agenda items with regards to business and investment climate via technical committees and working groups - Healthcare, Ethics and Compliance, Information and Communication Technologies, Aerospace and Defense, Intellectual Property Rights, Corporate Social Responsibility and Public Affairs - undertaken by the senior representatives of member companies. In this respect, we share our proposals and reports prepared parallel to our government's structural reform agenda, and with the aim of increasing the share of the foreign direct investment inflows as well as the international competitiveness of the Turkish economy with all relevant stakeholders.

In line with Turkey's growth performance in the recent years, many members of AmCham Turkey/ABFT have also moved their regional hubs to Turkey. Today, 15 of our member companies use Turkey as a regional hub, and manage 94 countries from Turkey. Moreover, our member companies also make long term investments in Turkey through locating their production facilities and factories, R & D, design and innovation centers.

We believe that 2017 has marked another turning point for AmCham Turkey/ABFT with the election of a new Board that will serve until 2019 end at the General Assembly on March 1st, 2017. With our new Board of Directors, consisting of the top level executives of global companies that have invested in Turkey such as Citibank, P&G, General Electric, The Dow Chemical Company, Baxter International, PwC, Korn Ferry, UPS, IBM, PepsiCo, Baker & McKenzie, HP, Boeing, Intel, Honeywell, 3M, Mondelez International, Warner Bros, Nike, Heidrick & Struggles and Janssen, we aim to be the voice of the international business in Turkey that reflects our member companies’ expectations and tendencies.   

With the leadership and guidance of AmCham Board of Directors, AmCham has defined its priorities based on;

- further increasing bilateral trade, investment and relations between Turkey and the U.S.;

- contributing to Turkey’s sustainable development through increasing its share from foreign direct investments;  

- developing strategies to strengthen Turkey’s business and investment climate to attract international investors and support the country’s development;

- encouraging investors to deepen and expand their investments in Turkey;

- partnering with key stakeholders to help Turkey become a regional hub;

- and representing and acting as the reputable, independent, strong and effective voice for U.S. businesses and investors in Turkey.

In accordance with these priorities, we will continue our activities in line with our mission to further strengthen the business and investment climate in Turkey and increase bilateral trade, investment and business relations between Turkey and the U.S. As AmCham Turkey/ABFT, we will develop concrete and solution-oriented proposals, opinions and projects regarding our country’s economic, business and investment environment, with our stakeholders, and will share them with the relevant parties. As international investors, believing in the potential, dynamism and future of Turkey, we plan our investments with a long-term perspective, and we will continue to tell our success story abroad.

Sincerely,

Hale Altan 
AmCham Turkey/ABFT