Oct 2018
Turkey and the Atlantic Economic Partnership

New book edited by Assist. Prof. Serdar Altay of ITU Economics on Turkey and the Atlantic Economic Partnership is published

Assistant Professor Serdar Altay of ITU Economics Department has co-edited a new book titled “Turkey in the North Atlantic Marketplace” together with Professor Daniel Hamilton of Johns Hopkins University and Aylin Unver Noi of Istanbul Istinye University. The book has been published by Center for Transatlantic Relations of SAIS Johns Hopkins University and is now distributed by the Brookings Institution:

The book suggests that for decades the partnership between North America and Europe has been a steady anchor in a world of rapid change. Today, however, the transatlantic partnership itself has become unsettled and uncertain. Nowhere is this clearer than in the economic sphere. Nonetheless, the European Union and the United States remain each other's largest and most profitable markets. And as Europe changes, extended value chains across non-EU Europe (including Turkey) have become important to the bottom line of many companies from the United States, Europe, and other parts of the world.

Given both the danger of fragmentation and opportunities that exist for deeper economic interaction, it is time to consider new initiatives that include, but go beyond the U.S.-EU partnership to embrace allies and partners across the entire North Atlantic space. The concept of the North Atlantic Marketplace based on a new template – a series of bilateral agreements called Jobs and Growth Agreement (JAGA)- that embraces a different set of priorities such as boosting jobs and growth would include non-EU European countries like Turkey in a broad North Atlantic commercial architecture.

Turkey's evolving commercial ties to the EU and the United States are central to such considerations according to the authors. In this book leading experts develop possible ways forward to anchor Turkey in the West by further deepening economic ties between Turkey and its transatlantic partners in the North Atlantic Marketplace.

In his chapter “A New Investment Agenda and Legal Framework for Turkey and North Atlantic Economies” Dr. Altay argues that Turkey has an unfulfilled potential in terms of attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) especially from the Atlantic economies. Even though Turkey proved to be a champion reformer in the OECD group in terms of improving its business environment and created a welcoming legal framework to foreign investors, investment ties between Turkey and the West are far below their potential. It is true that Turkey’s Western allies take the lion share in FDI inflows to the country. Yet, the Turkish economy also provides lucrative business opportunities in several sectors which are still unknown to and untapped by U.S. and European investors.

A new investment agenda and legal framework between Turkey and transatlantic parties is proposed by the author as a means to boost investment ties between Turkey, Europe and the North America in the coming future. A new investment-centered framework that prioritizes “jobs and growth” in relations between Turkey and its allies will arguably not only help enhance predictability and certainty for international businesses, it will also enable tapping the unfulfilled potential of Turkey and vice versa.