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NH Turkey Trade Mission: Extraordinary Experience

(Commissioner Jeffrey Rose returns today from Turkey, following a week-long trade mission to that country, led by Gov. Hassan. Also accompanying the governor were representatives of seven New Hampshire businesses – Comptus of Thornton; Conductive Compounds of Hudson; Demers & Blaisdell of Concord; Hinkley Allen of Concord; Mae Consulting of Deerfield; Rokon of Rochester and Ulysses Advisory Group of East Kingston.)

Turkey-6-24-007

Gov. Hassan delivered the keynote speech to the Kaza Women and Business Association.

Our trade mission to Turkey has been an extraordinary experience. Our companies had over 100 business-to-business meetings and are returning home with dozens of high quality leads. Gov. Hassan went non-stop over the past week, meeting with many of the most senior business people in the country and receiving high praise from the more than 200 businesses she directly connected with during the mission. Some of the most gratifying moments of the trade mission came in her meetings with women business leaders and how inspired they were by her.

Financing being a key factor in international trade and economic development, we met with Garanti Bank, the leading private bank in Turkey.  The U.S., through the Overseas Private Investment Corp. (OPIC), has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in Turkey, with a particular emphasis on women-owned businesses.

Garanti Bank’s contributions have made a positive impact here and since nearly 20 percent of OPIC’s investments have been projects in Turkey (our long-standing NATO partner), this underscores its importance to the U.S.

During the trade mission, I met with numerous senior level executives representing companies eyeing expansion into the U.S. market – a receptive audience for outlining the benefits of expanding to New Hampshire and to map out potential options for their consideration.

Of note is a fast growing international company seeking a potential warehouse/distribution center here in the Northeast.  Its overseas investment director was very interested in our lower cost of doing business, compared to rest of the region.  Another company that stood out is a leading forest-products company in Turkey, interested in our timber and mill capacity.  The company is very successful in Turkey and looking to grow in markets around the globe.

Thursday was another busy day for Gov. Hassan, the seven New Hampshire businesses taking part in this trade mission, and our team from DRED. Starting with breakfast, joined by a diverse group of Parliament members, it was followed by a robust discussion about government processes in Turkey and U.S, as well as how important international trade is in providing opportunities and benefits for both countries.

The opportunity to talk about New Hampshire’s growing aerospace and defense sectors came in a meeting I, and members of the New Hampshire Aerospace and Defense Export Consortium, had with leaders of the OSTIM Defense and Aviation Custer of Turkey.  We had a spirited discussion about the important role the sector plays in both our economies and the collective efforts to organize and promote emerging clusters in both countries.  It was an opportunity to highlight two New Hampshire companies on the trade mission – Rokon of Rochester and Conductive Compounds of Hudson – and develop networking opportunities for them to engage with the Turkish industry.  We also discussed best practices and picked up some dynamic ideas to bring back to our growing NHADEC organization.

To talk more about the opportunities for New Hampshire businesses to make strategic investments into Turkey, I met with Ahmet Erdem, head of Investor Services Department with the Republic of Turkey Prime Ministry Investment Support and Promotion Agency of Turkey (ISPAT).  We discussed the emerging sectors within the rapidly growing Turkish economy and incentive programs there to help spur international investment.  The country’s investment system targets geographic locations, strategic sectors, R&D, and duty/tax reductions.  With its growing purchasing power and its location at the cross roads of Asia, Middle East, Africa and Europe, Turkey is attracting lots of foreign investment.

I enjoyed the opportunity to meet with Metin Deger, head of the Ministry of Economy for the Republic of Turkey, and speak about the benefits of Turkish companies investing in New Hampshire.  He is responsible for counseling Turkish companies on overseas investments and helps identify markets for companies.  He was impressed with what the Granite State offers foreign investors, particularly our strategic geographic location, skilled workforce and low tax structure.  It was a great discussion and once we provide some more information, he will promote New Hampshire to a variety of industries, associations and business groups.

I need to again thank our hosts – the Turkish Cultural Center and TUSKON – for their efforts in making our trade mission with Turkey so successful. Those efforts, which included months of planning and highly coordinated logistics, were extraordinary.

I am confident this is just the beginning of a long term relationship that will continue to yield fruits for both countries as we seeking opportunities to grow trade between New Hampshire and Turkey.

 

Jeffrey Rose

Commissioner

New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development

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