Georgia to seek business opportunities in Turkey - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Georgia to seek business opportunities in Turkey

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ATLANTA, GA (WRCB) -- Gov. Nathan Deal will lead a high-level delegation of state of Georgia officials and business leaders to Turkey May 28-June 1. The mission will visit the cities of Istanbul, Ankara and Mersin and meet with prominent members of the Turkish government and corporate community to explore business and trade opportunities in this strategically located market.

"Turkey has opened its doors to Georgia by naming our state as one of just six U.S. states with whom it intends to increase trade, and this delegation will introduce Turkish leaders to our tremendous capabilities for business," said Deal. "This mission will ensure our message will resonate at the highest levels of commerce."

The Georgia delegation's itinerary includes "Discover Georgia" presentations hosted by the state in Istanbul and Mersin, which will target prospects for business and trade with Georgia. In Istanbul, the delegation will learn about opportunities for doing business with Turkey from ISPAT, the Investment Support and Promotion Agency of Turkey.

Deal and members of the delegation will also meet with a number of Turkish ministers in Istanbul and in Ankara, as well as with the U.S. Ambassador to Turkey, Francis Ricciardone. The Istanbul leg of the mission will also include a tour of Koc University, a visit to UPS's Turkey operations and a bilateral exchange dinner hosted by Coca-Cola Chairman and CEO Muhtar Kent.

Following meetings in Ankara, Deal will lunch with Georgia airmen and women serving at Incirlik Air Force Base. In Mersin, Turkey's sixth-largest city, Deal and delegation will meet with the governor and the mayor of Mersin, tour the port and visit the city's Chamber of Shipping and the Mersin Free Trade Zone. The Mersin International Seaport is the primary supplier to the Middle East and the gateway to the rest of Turkey, including the Mediterranean.

Turkey and the state of Georgia already have a strong foundation for business. The Turkey market shares many characteristics with Georgia, especially in agriculture, Georgia's largest industry. In 2011, Georgia was the seventh-leading exporter to Turkey among U.S. states, with around $600 million exported. Leading exports such as cotton/fabric, machinery and vehicles all grew by triple digits in the last quarter. Both imports and exports between Georgia and Turkey increased in 2011.

The Port of Savannah, the fourth-largest and fastest-growing deepwater port in the United States, offers weekly service to Istanbul, Gemlik, Izmir and Mersin. Delta Air Lines partners with several other airlines to offer flights between Atlanta and Istanbul.

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