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Meeting Boosts US Renewable Energy Exposure to Turkish Firms PDF Print E-mail
2011-12-09 20:49:08
Image Representatives of a prominent US trade delegation consisting of senior representatives of the US renewable energy sector as well as various US government officials and financial companies enjoyed a final gala dinner on Thursday evening sponsored by the Turkish-American Business Association (TABA). Energy consumption in Turkey is expected to grow 5-7 percent per year through 2023 and is forecasted to require over $100 billion in power generation transmission and distribution investment. Renewables will make up an increasingly large part of the pie, with a 30 percent target for the same year

The dinner was part of an effort to bring a greater a number of Turkish companies interested in the renewable energy sector together with the delegation which consisted of 17 companies in addition to various trade finance bodies. They were on a five-day tour of three Turkish cities to foster business ties between the two countries.

The many dozen Turkish companies present at the TABA-sponsored dinner included representatives of such prominent companies as Gempa, Alarko Holding and Sanko as well energy powerhouses Oyak Enerji, Zorlu Enerji and private equity companies like Globalturk Capital. The US delegation included government representatives from the US EXIM Bank, US Commercial Services and energy giants, such as GE Energy and Johnson Controls.

Officials that said the mission had been a resounding success; 250 applications had been received from Turkish companies to meet with the US delegation, despite there being a quota of five Turkish companies per city. The delegation visited İstanbul, Ankara and İzmir. The official noted that because there was so much interest from Turkish companies they had to arrange 20 meetings for each company representing some 340 meetings. Interest in the event should come as no surprise. Trade between the two countries is poised to grow dramatically in the years ahead. In the energy sector, the increase will be exponential. Energy consumption in Turkey is expected to grow 5-7 percent per year through 2023 and is forecasted to require over $100 billion in power generation transmission and distribution investment. Renewables will make up an increasingly large part of the pie with a 30 percent target for the same year. 2023 is the 100th anniversary of the Turkish republic and the Turkish government has set many ambitious economic goals for this year, including making turkey one of the top 10 global economies.

Confirmation of these ambitious goals was recently given a nod by the US when it designated Turkey one of a handful of priority markets and has committed to provide increased trade and project finance resources to support US business interests looking to enter the market. Turkey is the only priority country in the European region.

“Our trade is up 45 percent year on year. This will be a record year and for bilateral business. We are very bullish on the market and we are pleased to have you as part of this,” said Michael Lally, US commercial councilor at the US Embassy addressing the crowd and noting the unique opportunities presented by the newly created pilot project in İzmir which aimed at “doing good by doing business helping out the environment.”

The US Department of Energy in coordination with other US agencies, is helping facilitate the Near-Zero Zone project in the İzmir Atatürk Organized Industrial Zone. With the support of the Turkish government and companies operating in the zone the project seeks to dramatically reduce energy usage through a series of cost-effective efficiency upgrades.

If successful, plans are afoot to duplicate the model in other cities in İzmir.

Addressing the audience, Uğur Terzioğlu, chairman of the TABA, recounted a story about the development of trade between the former Ottoman Empire and the US. In the 1830s an Ottoman admiral donated camels from Milas and Söke to help transport merchandise between the mountains of Arizona. “I am proud to say that 90 camels from Milas went to the United States to help facilitate trade. I hope we don’t need any more camels. We need real friendship.”
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