The U.S. Chamber's Turkey and Middle East Affairs program is the premiere business advocacy platform for strengthening the commercial relationships between the United States and Turkey, as well as the United States and the Middle East region.
Over the past year, our existing partnerships grew significantly and we increased our presence in the region - building efforts to provide input on substantive policy initiatives that drive U.S. trade and investment in the region. We launched the Middle East Commercial Center (MECC), formed the U.S.-Turkey Business Council, conducted business missions to Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iraq, Bahrain, and the UAE, and hosted heads of state and senior government officials from Israel, Egypt, Bahrain, and Turkey, among others. In addition, we established 501(c)3 entities to further educate key decision makers in the public and private sectors on the MECC and the U.S.-Israel business partnership.
In 2014, we will continue to lead the business community's efforts to shape policies that advance U.S. trade and investment in these countries. Our programs and initiatives will both help expand U.S. companies' access to the growing markets in Turkey and the Middle East, and attract inward investment into the United States.