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President Erdoğan to meet US companies' executives

President Erdoğan to meet US companies' executives

Turkish president is expected to give a speech of investment and business in Turkey.
25.05.2021 - 11:19

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will meet executives from some 20 large U.S. companies on Wednesday to discuss investing in Turkey, three sources told Reuters, with one saying it was meant as a prelude to a June meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden.

The sources, with knowledge of the May 26 conference call, said it was organised by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Turkish presidency's investment office, the Turkish Embassy and the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB).

An industry source said the call was being organised in anticipation of a planned meeting on June 14 between Biden and Erdogan on the sidelines of a NATO summit in Brussels, their first in-person encounter since the U.S. election last November.

It was unclear which companies would attend.

"It is a way to test the waters with U.S. companies, (a) kind of preliminary work prior to a face-to-face meeting with Biden," the first source said, who was from industry and like others requested anonymity.

A fourth informed source said executives from Microsoft and Netflix would attend the call. Representatives of both companies did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A U.S. Chamber of Commerce spokeswoman said via email: "This meeting is private and off the record, so we are not able to provide any details."

The Turkish presidency's Investment Agency and TOBB declined comment. The presidency, the Turkish Embassy in Washington and the U.S. Chamber did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

A third source said top executives from the companies, including some chief executives, would be on the call during which Erdogan was expected to give a speech and take questions about investment and business in Turkey.

The call was set for around 1500 GMT on Wednesday, the person said.

U.S.-Turkish trade reached about $21 billion in 2019 and the NATO allies have said they aim to lift that to $100 billion.