The Turkey-U.S. Business Council (TAİK), operating under the umbrella of the Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey (DEİK) was formed in 1985 as the first business council in Turkey with the aim to enhance trade and investment relations between the U.S. and Turkey.
TAİK’s vision is primarily to increase the trade and investment volume between the U.S. and Turkey; to be recognized as a reliable source of information and networking channel on bilateral trade issues for both countries and to make the U.S. companies view Turkish companies as a key partner and Turkey as a destination for direct investments in the region.
TAİK operates with a mission to create platforms to facilitate the growth of economic relations between the U.S. and Turkey through its wide spectrum of activities such as conferences, forums, business summits, lobbying visits, networking luncheons and dinners, educational site visits, etc. With its broad range of activities and worldwide links, TAİK constitutes a role model for other organizations in pursuit of similar goals.
TAİK’s Executive Committee consists of top-level executives of the leading companies in Turkey. The current Chairman of the Business Council is Ekim Alptekin, the Chairman of EA Group. Since its foundation, noteworthy executives such as Ersin Faralyalı, Sedat Aloğlu, Mustafa Koç, Akın Öngör, Dr. Vural Akışık, Dr. Yılmaz Argüden, Ferit F. Şahenk, Haluk Dinçer and Şerif Egeli have chaired the Business Council.
- To encourage business development and industrial cooperation; to improve the conditions for bilateral trade, foreign direct investments and joint investments in third countries,
- To research, identify and develop opportunities in key sectors for designated U.S. states and cities where possibilities of win-win business development can be pursued,
- To promote Turkey’s key business sectors in the U.S. and develop a brand identity of Turkey by emphasizing its pioneering and leading role in the region, arousing awareness about the advantages of doing business with Turkey and enhancing intercultural dialogue between two countries through cultural tourism,
- To conduct research and provide database on bilateral trade, investment, industrial and technological cooperation
DEİK, the gateway of the Turkish private sector to the world, was founded in 1986 to monitor and develop Turkey’s economic, commercial, industrial and financial relations with foreign countries and international organizations. It has 104 founding institutions, representing all sectors of the Turkish private sector. DEİK operates through Bilateral Business Councils which are established by a cooperation agreement signed with foreign counterparts. As of June 2016, there are 133 business councils operating under DEİK. Headquartered in Istanbul, TAİK, the largest, the oldest and most institutionalized Business Council, operates under the permanent secretariat of DEİK. Since its foundation, the Business Council has benefited from the active support and encouragement of both the Turkish and U.S. governments, and is privileged to host high ranking dignitaries. TAİK has a strategic relationship with various business development organizations in the U.S. for the coordination of events to promote bilateral trade.
TAİK plans its activities through its committees; namely, Business Development, Annual Conference Planning Committee, Political Affairs, Culture and Arts, Corporate Communication, Banking and Finance, Private Equity Funds, Education, Energy and Infrastructure, Defense and Aerospace, Agriculture and Food, Tourism and Promotion, and Technology and University Industry Collaboration. TAİK recently established state-level committees such as California, Florida, Illinois, New York and Texas. TAİK aims to reach the leading states of the U.S. market through new counterparts at the state level and help Turkish companies enter the market with a more focused strategy.
JOINT ANNUAL CONFERENCE WITH ATC
The ‘Joint Annual Conference’ organized by TAİK and ATC (American Turkish Council) every year in Washington D.C, creates valuable opportunities for member companies to exchange views on economic and political issues put forward by experts. The Conference, which has been organized for the past 34 years, attracts hundreds of business people as well as high-level government representatives from both countries. Panel discussions on issues such as ‘trade and investment’, ‘banking and finance’, ‘agribusiness’, ‘energy’, ‘construction’, ‘foreign affairs’ and ‘defense’ are the usual highlights.
While in Washington, D.C, TAİK board members visit members of the Congress, the State Department, think tanks, financial agencies and U.S. media representatives in order to exchange views on bilateral relations and discuss policy recommendations to enhance economic cooperation.
ANNUAL INVESTMENT CONFERENCE
TAİK organizes Annual Investment Conferences in New York for the last 7 years where business people as well as high-level government representatives from both countries analyze the current state of affairs in the Turkish economy and provide an outlook of the investment opportunities.
EXPLORING FURTHER BUSINESS PROSPECTS
TAİK places strong emphasis on cooperation in third countries and therefore has taken a proactive role in contributing to the processes of restructuring and rebuilding Iraq and Afghanistan. Within this framework, TAİK undertook various joint missions with the Turkish-Eurasian Business Councils to the Republics of Central Asia, Ukraine and the Russian Federation, which have proven to yield positive results. TAİK also co-organized a seminar in New York entitled “Investment and Partnership Opportunities: Greece-Turkey-U.S.” in collaboration with the Turkish-Greek Business Council.
OTHER SERVICES AND ACTIVITIES
- organizes business seminars in the U.S. cities with local business organizations in order to develop opportunities for collaboration in business and investment areas. Within this framework, seminars were held in New York, Chicago, Orlando, Houston, San Francisco, Boston, New Orleans, Los Angeles, Atlanta etc.
- hosts meetings and receptions with its members for delegations of American businessmen, Congressmen, staffers visiting Turkey and for Turkish delegations visiting the U.S. During these visits, TAİK organizes exclusive meetings with high-level government officials, business people and NGOs. Among the American dignitaries TAİK hosted are 42nd U.S. President Bill Clinton (1999); 47th U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (2013), 66th and 67th U.S. Secretaries of State, Condoleezza Rice (2007) and Hillary Clinton (2011); 28th, 32nd and 38th U.S. Secretaries of Commerce Robert Mosbacher (1991), William Daley (1998), Penny Pritzker (2014); 17th USTR Michael Froman (2014); 10th and 11th U.S. Secretaries of Energy, Spencer Abraham (2004), Samuel Bodman (2007); 22nd, 23rd and 24th U.S. Secretaries of Defense, Robert M. Gates (2010), Leon Panetta (2012), Chuck Hagel (2014); 4th U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Norman Mineta (2004).
- hosts briefing seminars for delegations which represent prestigious institutions in the U.S. Some of the delegations TAİK hosted so far are ACYPL, Brandeis University, Council on Foreign Relations, Drexel University, Eastern Trade Council, Emory University, Foreign Policy Association, Georgetown University, International Young Diplomats in Training, Lake Forest University, Marshall Memorial Fellowship, National Defense University, National War College, Rollins College, University of Denver, University of Lake Forest, University of Michigan, US-Asia Foundation during their Turkey visits.
- conveys the views of the Business Council at official platforms like the “Strategic Framework for Economic and Commercial Cooperation”, “Economic Partnership Commission” (EPC), Trade Investment Framework Agreement” (TIFA), “Framework for Strategic Economic and Commercial Cooperation” (FSECC) meetings, in addition to occasions like governmental visits at the President, Prime Minister and Minister levels.
- organizes meetings to build domestic interest level in doing business with the U.S and enlighten the public on various aspects of the relations between the U.S. and Turkey. TAİK organizes “U.S.-Anatolia Bridge” meetings in economically emerging cities of Turkey in order to inform the local businessmen about the economic potential and ways of doing business in the U.S.
- conducts research on various dimensions of bilateral economic relations and business development provides comprehensive information for TAİK members acquired through its worldwide networks with governmental, financial and academic institutions, think-tanks and other intermediary business institutions, both in Turkey and the U.S.
TAİK also maintains a business portal, www.taik.org.tr, which provides comprehensive information on Turkey-U.S. commercial and political relations and constitutes a gateway to Turkish business and investment opportunities. The site provides relevant up-to-date information and reports on doing business in Turkey, doing business in the U.S, Turkey in general as well as information about DEİK, TAİK, events, announcements, news & features, success stories.