The U.S.-Turkey Business Council (USTBC) has created working groups to develop advocacy positions for specific sectors and to create platforms for further dialogue with pertinent Turkish industries and government representatives.
Currently, working groups convene council members around five sectors to amplify their voice for a stronger U.S.-Turkey business partnership.
USTBC sectoral working groups include:
- Defense and Aerospace
- Digital Economy Advisory Board
- Travel and Tourism
- Women in Business
- Ad-Hoc Legal Services
Defense and Aerospace
The Council’s Aerospace and Defense working group promotes connections among business, government, and thought leaders in order to identify opportunities and expand U.S.-Turkey cooperation in these historically robust industries. The working group promotes ongoing U.S.-Turkey industrial cooperation and explores opportunities for the two NATO allies to continue collaboration in supply chains, R&D, and emerging technologies while working to overcome challenges.
Digital Economy Advisory Board
The Council’s Digital Economy Advisory Board brings together leading U.S. firms operating in Turkey to collectively identify issues, provide policy recommendations and create opportunities for advocacy and engagement with government representatives. The working group provides a platform for member companies to engage the public sector on a regular basis to develop solutions for meeting Turkey’s 2023 development goals.
The Council member companies are committed to realizing Turkey’s potential in the digital economy and will continue to pursue activities towards implementing best practices and exploring investment opportunities for expanding the U.S.-Turkey bilateral trade.
The Healthcare working group supports Turkey’s COVID-19 response and application of post-pandemic measures. The Healthcare working group under the U.S.-Turkey Business Council serves as a communication platform for member companies engaged in Turkey’s vibrant healthcare sector. The working group represents the most significant investors in Turkey’s pharmaceuticals, medical devices and medical technologies sectors. The Council’s engagements provide opportunities for companies to present up-to-date research and recommendations to government representatives for mutually beneficial solutions to help fulfill Turkey’s 2023 goals and enhance health service offerings.
The Healthcare working group convenes regularly to help establish opportunities for public-private sector dialogue; to inform Turkish counterparts of the latest research in medical sciences, and to host representatives from Turkey on business missions and at international conventions, including the BIO International Convention, to increase mutual access to information and create alternative channels for advocacy.
Council member companies are committed to supporting Turkey’s vision of becoming a hub for healthcare services and will continue to pursue activities that bring international best practices to Turkey for a stronger U.S.-Turkey business partnership.
Travel and Tourism
The Council launched its Travel and Tourism working group in October 2015 during the Turkish Airlines inaugural flight from Istanbul to Miami to strengthen bilateral ties to advance these critical industries. The United States and Turkey are the 3rd and 6th most visited international destinations, respectively, with modest growth in travel exchanges between both countries. As COVID-19 reshapes the world of travel and tourism, the Council’s Travel and Tourism working group will be a vital partner in these discussions within the U.S.-Turkey context to facilitate safe and frequent travel connections.
Women in Business
Turkey’s labor force is a global talent pool of human resources for multinationals and Turkish firms alike. Despite comprising only 34 percent of Turkey’s overall workforce, the quality of Turkey’s female labor force is high, with many women serving as CEOs of leading U.S. companies in Turkey. This group highlights successful examples of corporate leadership; women’s entrepreneurship, and mentorship programs for young women. Women in Business group also works with the U.S. and Turkish governments on policy actions to increase female contributions to economic growth, while promoting higher levels of female participation in STEM fields.
Million Women Mentors Program in Turkey
Million Women Mentors - Turkey is an initiative to leverage the experience of prominent female leaders working for U.S. companies operating in Turkey to engender the next generation of women leaders in STEM fields, and create a network of mentoring programs serving female high school and university students on STEM pathways and early-career STEM professionals. Million Women Mentors - Turkey's goal is to establish 1 million mentoring connections within 10 years. While the initiative serves female mentees, both male and female mentors are welcome.
The program is a partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's U.S.-Turkey Business Council, the Council's Women in Business Initiative co-chairs Umran Beba, founder and partner at August Leadership, and Canan Ozsoy, CEO, GE Turkey, TurkishWIN and TOBB.
Million Women Mentors, dubbed Milyon Kadina Mentor in Turkish, combines STEMconnerctor's global leadership in supporting girls and women on STEM pathways with TurkishWIN's expertise in mentor-matching, and its expansive network of private sector mentors in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) careers and early STEM career, female mentees in Turkey.
Ad-Hoc Legal Services
The Council’s Ad Hoc Legal Services working group is a forum for open dialogue on legal matters. It fosters relationships between U.S. and Turkish companies to facilitate the understanding of the laws, regulations, and legal framework in both countries. It gives member companies a platform to talk more about the practical application of certain rules and regulations. Although sanctions and export regulations occupy today’s agenda for U.S.-Turkey Business community, group's discussions also include other issues such as; applicable legal rules and regulations on certain industries in both countries.