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U.S.-Turkey Business Council Meetings in Ankara + Istanbul

24 September 2022 Saturday

Dear Colleagues,


On August 31 - September 2, the U.S. Chamber’s Senior Vice President for Middle East and Turkey Affairs, and International Development, Khush Choksy traveled to Turkey for government advocacy meetings on behalf of U.S.-Turkey Business Council members and consultations with the private sector. Amidst unprecedented global challenges and an expanding U.S.-Turkey commercial relationship, this visit convened members companies with key Turkish and U.S. government officials and allowed for direct advocacy on business and policy priorities to promote better alignment on energy, digital trade, defense, aerospace, health, finance and sanctions compliance.


Please reach out to the U.S.-Turkey Business Council team in Istanbul or Washington about how we can further support your corporate objectives in the follow-up to this visit and the United Nations meetings. Thank you for your ongoing leadership, engagement and support.


Best regards,


Jennifer Miel

Executive Director, U.S.-Turkey Business Council

U.S. Chamber of Commerce



 Exclusive Advisory Board Dinner with Ambassador Jeffry Flake

U.S. Ambassador to Turkey Jeff Flake hosted the U.S. Chamber’s U.S.-Turkey Business Council Advisory Board members at his residence in Ankara. He spoke individually with companies to exchange insights about the current outlook and how the U.S. Mission can help with strategic business priorities.

Digital Economy Roundtable


H.E. Omer Fatih Sayan

Deputy Minister of Transport and Infrastructure

Highlights from the discussion:

  • Internet Law Amendments: Omer Fatih Sayan stated that the government is passing legislation in the digital space to protect its citizens. He emphasized that there is a need to update internet laws in since the law was last passed two years ago.
  • CLOUD Act Agreement – A U.S.-Turkey CLOUD Act Agreement would prevent the need for such requirements and restrictions being proposed in the Internet Law. It was discussed to elevate this subject on the top of the U.S.-Turkey Digital Dialogue agenda to provide more time for discussion and debate.
  • Data Privacy - Most of Turkey’s rules and regulations comes from EU. Turkey will stick to the EU's approach with regards to data.
  • Digital Economy – When companies shared concerns about a platform regulation, e-commerce, and disinformation bill, with the Digital Markets Act (DMA) and Digital Services Act (DSA), the Deputy Minister asked that companies comply with regulations and requests for content removal on social media platforms. With relation to e-commerce bill, he said that there is nothing in the law that is not in DSA.
  • High-Level Dialogue - There is need for a sustained high-level U.S.-Turkey G2G mechanism on the digital. This mechanism facilitates exchange between high-level officials across both governments and serve to address many of the challenges the private sector is facing.

Next Steps: The U.S.-Turkey Business Council continues to advocate for a high-level U.S.-Turkey Digital Dialogue, and also requested that the Internet law amendments be held in parliament until there are more consultations with all concerned parties.



Energy Policy Workshop


H.E. Alparslan Bayraktar, Deputy Minister of Energy

  • U.S.-Turkey Energy and Climate Dialogue: The Deputy Minister has made efforts to try to form this government dialogue for more results-oriented cooperation. There is currently no current agenda or date for a dialogue, however the Minister emphasized that this issue is important and we don't need to wait for a dialogue to start engaging and taking necessary steps.

Deputy Minister Bayraktar discussed four major areas of investments for Turkey towards their energy goals:

  • Renewal Resources: Solar, wind, geothermal and biogas are essential to reduce Turkey’s import dependency. The aim is to generate more power from renewable resources to decrease dependency on coal and gas. Green hydrogen can also help.
  • Nuclear Energy: The Deputy Minister said that nuclear energy is essential to decarbonize. Currently, the first nuclear power plant in Turkey is under construction. They want to increase regional cooperation for access to technology and make licensing easier. He also discussed the advantages of small modular reactors (SMRs) and desire to have more financing.
  • Liquified Natural Gas (LNG): The Minister said they want to invest heavily in LNG infrastructure to increase and diversify its supply. Currently, they are developing a gas field and its Black Sea Gas production is also underway. They anticipate the reserved will supply Turkey with 25% of its needs for the next 5 years. Over the last 6 years, U.S. LNG exports to Turkey have increased. In 2016, Turkey purchased 0.4% from the U.S.; as of May 2022, it's purchased 15%.

In the first quarter of 2022, Turkey was the number one purchaser of U.S. LNG.

  • Energy Transition: Bayraktar said that that the transition requires time to see benefits. In the meantime, there will be increased energy prices because supply is diminished as companies divest away from oil and coal and into clean energy. He anticipates the transition will take at least two decades.

Further topics of discussion:

  • Trilemma: Companies are trying to manage the intersection of energy security, affordability, and the transition to clean energy as whole vs. trying to individually address each on its own. It is hard to manage all three without losing one. The private sector needs predictability in order to invest in new assets and projects. It is also looking to the U.S. for new investments in clean energy. They see this as an area for further cooperation between the two countries.
  • Increased Energy Prices: Before the war in Ukraine, energy prices were increasing but the problem has since become more dire.Turkiye like Europe is affected by increased energy prices. The night before the meeting, the Ministry of Energy had announced an energy price increase. Bayraktar mentioned the issue and stated that currently the Turkish government is providing subsidies for energy prices but encouraging everyone to be mindful of their consumption. He also acknowledged that the biggest challenge this winter will be energy prices. On the issue of energy shortage, he stated that if companies are willing to pay the actual price there is not a supply issue. The demand has decreased also causing the price to increase.

Next Steps:  The Council will look to draft a white paper with company input and host a U.S.-Turkey Energy, Security and Defense Day in Washington to advance these talks.


Defense and Aerospace Roundtable with Major General Huseyin Duman, General Director of Technical Services, Ministry of Defense

  • The U.S.-Turkey Defense Relationship: Major General Huseyin Duman reflected on the current state of the defense relationship. Turkey has the technical capability to carry out its commitments and address the United States' security concerns, and he stated that the issue regarding S400 and the F35 program was political.
  • U.S. companies and their Turkish suppliers participated in the meeting and shared perspectives on the impact of Turkey's suspension from F-35, CAATSA sanctions and the Congressional Notification process have had on the industry.

Next Steps: The U.S.-Turkey Business Council will look to host a U.S.-Turkey Energy & Defense Day in Q4.

Meeting with Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, President of Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB)

Highlights from the discussion:

  • Overarching Message: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce's U.S.-Turkey Business Council and TOBB are strong partners and will continue to collaborate to bring the business community together to strengthen U.S.-Turkey commercial ties. There are political challenges in the U.S.-Turkey relationship such as defense procurements and approach to Russian sanctions, but it is necessary to continue to strengthen the alliance between our two countries.
  • Macro-Economic Policy: Turkey’s growth model was discussed and the impact of inflation on businsses’ current and future growth.
  • E-Commerce Law: The Chamber expressed concerns with negative impacts of the law recently passed in Turkey, which stands to alter the competitive landscape and discourage new FDI in the tech sector. TOBB expressed the position of its members and outlook on this law.
  • Internet Law Amendments: Active debate on this law continues within policymaking circles with heightened awareness of consequences to measures being considered. The intended goal is to provide election security.
  • GSP has lapsed and not been reinstated. Turkey would like to see reactivated and be re-included.
  • Third Country Cooperation - TOBB highlighted importance of U.S.-Turkey cooperation in third countries like Ukraine, Central Asia, and the Caucuses, especially in infrastructure and construction.

Next Steps: The U.S.-Turkey Business Council and TOBB will continue hosting virtual and in-person reverse trade missions, and continue engagements with business community in the U.S. and Turkey.

Istanbul Meetings  I  September 2

Roundtable Lunch with Consul General Dr. Jonathan Henrick

 The U.S.-Turkey Business Council and its members met with Consul General Dr. Jonathan Henick in Istanbul. CG Henick stated that the U.S.-Turkey bilateral relationship was one of the most important strategic relationships in the world. He only has a remaining few weeks before he assumes his new post as U.S. Ambassador to Uzbekistan but will use his remaining weeks in Turkey to advocate on issues for companies.

Topics of discussion during the roundtable were energy supply and prices, digital trade and e-commerce regulation, regulatory transparency, pharmaceutical pricing and medical tourism, defense, and Russian sanctions. On the letter issued to Turkish businesses and Chambers cautioning about doing business with sanctioned Russian entities, CG Henick stated that the letter seemed like it intended to warn companies that precautions should be taken when conducting business as sanctions will most likely continue. He said that companies should exercise extra caution to not step into any red lines.

Following the meeting, AmCham Turkey's Board hosted a meeting with Khush Choksy and the U.S.-Turkey Business Council team to align priorities.

Next Steps: The Council and AmCham Turkey will look to host an Russian sanctions briefing with U.S. Officials from State Department and OFAC.






TABA - AmCham Türkiye'den Yayınlar

9 Eylül 2022 EKOTURK Canlı Yayın'da TABA-AmCham Genel Başkanı  Sn. Süleyman Sanlı Stüdyo New York Programı'nda Özlem Karakullukçu'nun konuğuydu.

Mecidiyeköy yolu cad. Kuştepe Mah. No:12 Trump Towers Residence Kat:4 D:403  Şişli-İSTANBUL

Mesai Saatleri:

Hafta içi – 9:00 – 18:00

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