In late April, Governor David A. Paterson hosted 63 Foreign Trade Commissioners (FTCs) representing 37 countries in Buffalo/Niagara during a two-day trade mission with regional business leaders.
The trade mission was designed to foster investment and job creation between international business interests and local business in Western New York. It was the largest trade mission group to ever visit western New York. TURKOFAMERICA was the only press which joined the two-day trade mission.
The Buffalo/Niagara trade mission followed the success of a similar event hosted by Governor Paterson on February 4 and 5, when nearly 30 Foreign Trade Commissioners convened in Albany for the first Upstate trade mission. Additional trade missions are being planned for Long Island and central New York.
The names of those behind the largest trade mission in the history of New York State were Sam Natapoff, Empire State Development (ESD) Senior Vice President for International Economic Development and Senior Advisor to the Governor on International Commerce, and his team.
When Natapoff was living in London, he was invited to a wedding ceremony and he realized that the only foreigners in the wedding were his family. 600 Turkish people were dancing and singing. He says, “We had so much fun and that was the first time I tasted Turkish food.”
Natapoff’s first business trip to Turkey took place last January. With the Turkish American Chamber of Commerce Industry delegation, he visited Adana, the fifth largest city of Turkey, in the Mediterranean region, and Istanbul. He attended the 3rd Adana Economical Forum (12-13 Jan 2009) with the support of the Adana Chamber of Commerce and he had a chance to taste Adana Kebab, a long, charcoal grilled, minced meat brochette mounted on a wide skewer. It is named after Adana. He still remembers the taste and he is dying to go again to taste it.
In addition to tasting food, Natapoff had meetings with Turkish businesses in Turkey and he says, “Turkish companies have a great potential to invest in New York State, especially in the organic food, renewable energy and medical science industries.”
Natapoff says that New York State offers many grants, incentives, advantages and opportunities for businessmen, especially those interested in upstate New York. Future growth, marketing, and attraction efforts for upstate New York focus on Agriculture, Advanced Materials, Bio/Life Sciences, Clean Tech/Energy, Homeland Security/Defense, Information Technology and Nanotechnology/Semiconductors.
According to Natapoff’s observations about Turkish companies, agriculture companies could make investments in upstate New York and be able to deliver their products all over the U.S.
If a Turkish company decides to invest in New York State, what should they do? Natapoff stresses clearly: “They should call my office.”
Natapoff points out that New York State’s pro-business environment and highly competitive economic incentives make it the ideal location for all types of business.
He is very pleased to inform us that Sarkuysan, the Istanbul-based Turkish copper company, invested $10 million in Albany to open its factory and he believes that others will follow Sarkuysan.
NEW YORK STATE BEYOND NYC
Natapoff, who worked in the Clinton administration, has also worked at the European Central Bank, the German Bundesbank, and the European Parliament. He has extensive international government experience, having worked with nine government institutions in five countries.
His international knowledge helps international businesses to create new investment opportunities in New York State. He emphasized that “There is more to New York than New York City. We invite Turkish businessmen to explore the many opportunities that New York State has to offer their companies. We're sure they will discover a wealth of services and locations that are perfect for their business needs.”
Through ESD, New York State maintains 12 international offices in key world markets in North America (Toronto, Montreal and Mexico), Latin America (Brazil and Chile), Europe (UK, France and Germany), South Africa, the Middle East (Israel), and Asia (Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai).
In addition, ESD and the NYS Department of Economic Development (DED) oversee New York’s international business development programs, which provide targeted assistance to New York firms to help advance their global competitiveness and international market access.
Natapoff received his Ph.D in political science from George Washington University and his B.A./M.A. from Balliol College, Oxford University.
A LETTER TO TURKISH BUSINESSMEN
Dear Turkish Investors:
At the center of the world’s largest, richest, and most active consumer marketplace, New York State has always offered investors a competitive edge in the global marketplace.
A diverse economic structure, highly skilled workforce, innovative industries and technologies, world-renown academic and research institutions, and support from proven economic development programs with tailored incentives – all of these world-class components attract intelligent business leaders to invest and locate in New York State.
As the leader in international trade and investment attraction, New York State offers extraordinary access to the world markets, and excellent services, transportation, energy, and expertise for businesses launching or expanding international activity. The New York State Department of Economic Development’s network of highly qualified professionals are ready to assist with financing, incentives, and site selection to help your business grow, create jobs, and prosper.
Located in the heart of the biggest concentration of population in North America, New York is within one day’s highway travel of more than 55 percent of the nation’s population and more than 60 percent of the population of Canada.
New York’s extensive transportation system includes superb harbors, deep water ports and waterways, the largest containership facilities in the world, thousands of miles of modern highways and railways, and hundreds of air handling facilities, including one of the world’s largest air cargo centers, John F. Kennedy International Airport.
New York State is also home to nearly 4,000 foreign-owned operations and New York State leads the nation in foreign direct investment and represents overseas interests in almost every industry including Life Sciences, Agriculture, Biotechnology, Nanotechnology, Renewable Energy and Green Technology, Imaging & Optics, Information Technology, Transportation and Aviation industry clusters.
New York State’s Centers of Excellence and Centers for Advanced Technology which include Nanotechnology Center in Albany and Bioinformatics and Life Science Center in Buffalo are
truly the world leaders in technology developments.
To assist your investment project, New York State’s International Division provides a wide range of services through a network of 21 offices throughout the State and worldwide. The following is a few examples of our assistance.
1. Creating a business plan to maximize your business opportunities
2. Identification of potential sites and buildings
3. Providing demographic, wage, tax and utilities cost data
4. Access to New York’s incentive programs such as financing, tax credits and training assistance
5. Information about quality of life in communities under evaluation
6. Networking with local government officials and private business people
7. Expedited assistance with the procurement of state permits, charters, etc.
8. Project coordination and facilitation through a network of regional and foreign offices
Should you have any questions regarding New York State’s business environment or services, please do not to hesitate to contact me at any time. I will be pleased to show what we can offer you.
We look forward to assisting you in your future business endeavors.