February 28, 2013

State of Alabama
Press Release: Alabama Department of Commerce

Department of Commerce Meets with Turkish Delegation

MONTGOMERY -- Citing opportunities for meaningful economic and cultural exchanges, Alabama Secretary of Commerce Greg Canfield and his staff met with a delegation of Turkish dignitaries Wednesday afternoon in Montgomery.

Secretary Canfield met with Veysel Yurdakul, governor of the Bitlis province in Turkey, and his delegation following the 3rd Annual Turkish American Day at the Alabama Capitol. The program-free and open to the public- was an opportunity to introduced Alabama senators, representatives, staff and the community to Turkish culture through food, Turkish musical performances, and cultural exhibitions.

The economy of Turkey is defined as an emerging market economy and is largely developed, making Turkey one of the world's newly industrialized countries. The country is among the world's leading producers of agricultural products; textiles; motor vehicles, ships and other transportation equipment; construction materials; consumer electronics and home appliances.

Turkey is Alabama’s 20th export destination with two-way trade totaling $213 million. 

“Meetings such as this one open the door for Alabama to develop business relationships that can create new opportunities for investment and export activities,” Canfield said.  “There are already ties between universities in Alabama and Turkey and meetings such as this one build new partnerships that will hopefully benefit both parties.”

On Monday, the delegation was in Hoover for the official opening of the Alabama Istanbul Center’s newest office there.  The cultural center plans to hold programs to introduce Alabamians to Turkish culture.   The center will also offer trips to Turkey to familiarize Alabamians with the country and promote cultural, economic and educational partnerships.

Alabama Senator Jabo Waggoner said he and five of his colleagues visited Turkey about a year and a half ago as guests of the country and found a friendly country that loves the United State and is eager to expand its economic presence here.

“Turkey has one of the fastest growing economies in the world,” Waggoner said. “There are so many economic opportunities that exist between Alabama and Turkey and we need to take advantage of these opportunities.”

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