U.S.-led trade mission and business development forum, “Trade Winds,” kicks off in Istanbul

The “Trade Winds Europe/Eurasia” forum, organized annually by the U.S. Department of Commerce and hosted by Turkey after 16 years, has begun in Istanbul with the participation of over 300 local and foreign representatives from various sectors.

Participants have the opportunity to access experienced industry professionals and government experts, engage in one-on-one meetings with U.S. “commercial diplomats,” explore the best industry potentials, and establish new connections with American and global companies.

In addition to the main program held in Istanbul, side events are also being organized in Italy, Romania, Denmark, Poland, and Kazakhstan. Since its inception in 2008, the Trade Winds forum has directly supported the conclusion of approximately 600 separate business agreements, with a total value exceeding $3.7 billion.

Trade Winds, which has seen the participation of more than 1,000 American companies and sponsors to date, has facilitated over 4,500 inter-company meetings worldwide.

American companies participating in the three-day event, designed to assist companies in achieving growth and visibility in specific markets or regions worldwide, are mainly representatives from the energy, aerospace and defense, security, electronics, health, and satellite technology sectors.

As part of the forum, a panel titled “The Power of Artificial Intelligence in Promoting Inclusion and Innovation” was held under the sponsorship of AmCham Turkey. The U.S. Department of Commerce’s selection of Turkey and Istanbul as the venue is seen as an important, strong, and encouraging message to investors and the business community.

“Artificial intelligence is beginning to affect the way business is conducted,” said Marisa Lago, Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, during her opening remarks at the forum. She expressed that they have seen positive applications of artificial intelligence and highlighted its role in increasing accessibility for people with disabilities and their participation in the digital economy.

Lago emphasized that with artificial intelligence, gender disparities can be reduced and historically underserved communities can be prevented from further exclusion, noting its potential to identify and then reduce biases or accessibility barriers when used appropriately.

Julie Eadeh, U.S. Consul General in Istanbul, stated that they gathered to discuss the transformative potential of artificial intelligence in improving gender equality in the workplace. She emphasized the significant progress made in recent years towards gender equality both in Turkey and the U.S. through joint efforts to pursue gender equality.

Eadeh emphasized their commitment to creating inclusive workplaces where every individual can thrive, contribute, and succeed in leveraging the power of digital technology, and noted that they have an unprecedented opportunity to combat norms and practices that perpetuate inequality.

When artificial intelligence is used to reduce biases in hiring, promote diverse leadership, and foster a culture of inclusivity, Eadeh stated that the workforce’s full potential can be realized.

“We can promote innovation on a global scale. Investments in the artificial intelligence industry by the U.S. government and governments around the world underscore our commitment to using the latest technologies to address social, political, and economic challenges,” she said.

Canan Özsoy, Vice President of AmCham Turkey, stated that their overarching goal as AmCham is to enhance U.S.-Turkey economic cooperation, which generates significant benefits for both sides.

Özsoy emphasized that they not only celebrate collective efforts today but also focus on the transformative power of artificial intelligence in promoting inclusivity and innovation in the technology sector. Representing 135 American member companies with $60 billion in investments and creating 100,000 jobs in Turkey, she noted that their main goal is to be the “Force that Takes Turkey to Global Markets.”

Özsoy underscored the undeniable long-term and strategic value created by American businesses for Turkey, stating that they will continue to focus on steps that will further advance bilateral economic cooperation and contribute to the increase in bilateral trade. She concluded by highlighting that the U.S. is Turkey’s largest 2nd export and 5th import market, believing that AmCham’s activities contribute even more to this increase in bilateral trade.

source: prepared by Melisa Beğiç

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