HOUSTON – On the heels of President Barack Obama’s visit to Turkey, the Greater Houston Partnership’s Executive Women’s Partnership Committee is traveling to that Eurasian country this week to promote business and trade between the two regions.
Beginning on Monday, April 20th, the 13-woman delegation, representing various Houston businesses, will visit the cities of Istanbul and Izmir. They will meet with Turkish representatives from targeted companies interested in doing business in the Houston region and the state of Texas. Targeted industries include those identified in the Partnership’s 10-year Strategic Plan as critical to Houston’s future prosperity. They include aerospace and aviation; energy and petrochemical; information technology; medical and biotechnology; and nanotechnology. These sectors are also the focus of the Partnership’s aggressive Opportunity HoustonSM economic development campaign.
Over the years, Houston’s connections to Turkey have been strong and steady. Houston became a sister city with Istanbul in 1986, and has enjoyed a mutually beneficial exchange of business, culture and goodwill for more than two decades. Nearly 275 Houston-area companies do business in Turkey, and 14 Houston-area companies hold subsidiaries there. Last year, trade between Turkey and the Houston region totaled $1.93 billion – a 13 percent increase over 2007.
Both the United States and Turkey are long-time partners in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Alliance. Turkey’s strategic location between Europe and Asia and the Bosphorous Strait – a major shipping channel between the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara – make it a vital partner in stability of the global economy.
As a sign of his commitment to continued cooperation with the Turkish government, President Barack Obama has engaged in talks with Turkey’s President Abdullah Gül to expand U.S. trade and commerce ties, specifically in joint quests for energy independence and Clean Tech sources.
The mission of the Executive Women’s Partnership committee is to provide executive women an opportunity to address business concerns and interests, learn from each other, and exchange ideas and information on important issues facing the business community.