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Turkish Trade Center Opens in New York

Offices in heart of Manhattan will give Turkish firms stronghold in world's biggest economy.

A new Turkish Trade Center has been opened in the heart of one of the world's largest financial centers -- New York’s Manhattan.

“New York is where everything begins, is designed, born and distributed all around the world,” Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci said at the opening ceremony.

He added: “New York’s gross domestic product is around $1.4 trillion, higher than the GDP of Russia.”

Located near Fifth Avenue, the center will provide offices for Turkish companies that want a physical presence in the world's biggest economy to access the U.S. market.

The 2,500 square meters (26,900 square feet) of space is divided into four sectors -- home textile, apparel, carpet and business contacts.

The goal of the center is to increase the volume of Turkish exports to the U.S.

“Turkey's export volume to the U.S. was $6.6 billion last year, while import volume was $10.9 billion,” Mehmet Buyukeksi, chairman of the Turkish Exporters Assembly, said.

“These numbers are not sufficient. They must be increased.

Strong growth

“However, when we look at the first eight months of 2016, there is a 36 percent increase in Turkish exports to the U.S., compared to last year, reaching $5.1 billion.”

Zeybekci emphasized the importance of an export-oriented economic growth model -- something Turkey achieved in the first half of 2017.

“3.9 percent of the 5.2 percent growth rate during the first two quarters of the year came from exports and production,” he said.

After growing by 3.2 percent last year, Turkey’s economy posted strong growth rates of 5.2 percent and 5.1 percent in the first and second quarters of 2017 respectively.

Those figures were above major economies such as the U.S., U.K. and Germany, which saw second quarter year-on-year growth of 2.2 percent, 1.7 percent and 2.1 percent respectively, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Outlining ways to avoid debt and a current account deficit, Zeybekci highlighted attracting sustainable foreign investment and transferring Turkey’s resources towards exports.

“That's why, as a government, we are providing $3 million per annum to support Turkish Trade Center in New York,” he said.

The center follows similar Turkish enterprises in Iran, Dubai and Chicago. Others are due to be opened in Moscow, Frankfurt, London, Tokyo and Oslo, Zeybekci said.

Erdogan, Trump Hold Talks in New York

Hour-long meeting expected to cover range of sometimes contentious issues.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday met with U.S. President Donald Trump in New York, in a highly anticipated meeting between the two leaders.

"We are going to conduct a bilateral meeting with my dear friend Donald, as well as a discussion between the delegations," Erdogan said ahead of the meeting on the sidelines of the annual UN General Assembly. "I would like to thank you once again for this opportunity,” he added.

Trump had high praise for his Turkish counterpart and said it was a “great honor and privilege -- because he’s become a friend of mine,” as the two men made brief remarks to reporters. "He’s running a very difficult part of the world. He’s involved very, very strongly and, frankly, he’s getting very high marks. And he’s also been working with the United States."

Turkey, US closest they have ever been, Trump says ahead of Erdoğan meeting

No official agenda for the meeting was released but a number of topics were expected to be discussed, including issues that have strained relations between the two NATO allies.

American support for groups it believes are important to the fight against Daesh in Syria but which Turkey have labeled as terror outfits has helped to exacerbate friction.

Trump and Erdogan would presumably have smoother talks regarding the plight of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, and the rising global tensions regarding North Korea because of that country’s nuclear and missile tests in defiance of the international community.

One major issue sure to be on Erdogan’s mind is the extradition of Fetullah Gulen -- leader of the FETO terror network that is accused of organizing a deadly coup attempt in Turkey in 2016.

Ankara has requested he be extradited to face charges in Turkey.

The Justice Department continues to process the trove of evidence sent by the Turkish government.

Erdogan concludes his four-day New York trip Thursday.


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