Turkey lambasts US move to end special trade status

US President Donald Trump and Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at NATO headquarters in Brussels, last year. (AFP)
Updated 05 March 2019

Turkey lambasts US move to end special trade status

  • The US Trade Representative’s Office said that Washington intended to end ‘India’s and Turkey’s designations as beneficiary developing countries’
  • Relations between the US and Turkey have been strained, especially following the 2016 failed coup and Washington’s support for a Syrian Kurdish militia

ANKARA: Turkey’s trade minister on Tuesday said US plans to end the preferential trade status granted to Turkey conflicted with the NATO allies’ push to increase commercial exchanges.
“This decision contradicts our mutual objective of reaching bilateral trade volume of $75 billion... The decision will also negatively affect US small and medium-sized enterprises and manufacturers,” Ruhsar Pekcan said on Twitter.
“We still would like to pursue our target of increasing our bilateral trade with the US who we see as our strategic partner, without losing any momentum,” she said.
The United States Trade Representative’s Office said Monday that Washington intended to end “India’s and Turkey’s designations as beneficiary developing countries under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program.”
The office made the decision at US President Donald Trump’s direction, saying that it was because the countries no longer complied with eligibility criteria.
Under the GSP program, some products may enter the US duty-free if countries meet criteria which include offering the US “equitable” market access.
Turkey was made a GSP beneficiary in 1975 and the office said Turkey had shown a “higher level of economic development” meaning that it could be “graduated” from the program.
Relations between the US and Turkey have been strained, especially following the 2016 failed coup and Washington’s support for a Syrian Kurdish militia viewed by Ankara as a “terrorist offshoot” of Kurdish insurgents within its borders.
Last summer ties worsened over the detention of an American pastor, during which Trump doubled tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum, and sanctioned two senior Turkish officials. Pastor Andrew Brunson was later released and relations improved.


Getting more women into leadership positions top priority: CEO

This June 23, 2018 photo, shows a general view of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (AP)
Updated 18 January 2020

Getting more women into leadership positions top priority: CEO

  • Saudi Arabia is focusing on the Business 20 (B20), making this one of the key engagement groups. Women in Business will be Saudi Arabia’s signature topic

RIYADH: The boss of one of Saudi Arabia’s biggest banks says that getting more women into leadership positions is a top priority.
Samba CEO Rania Nashar chairs the action council for Women in Business created by the Business Twenty (B20), which is the official G20 dialogue with the business community. It represents the global business community across all G20 member states and all economic sectors.
She said the council was set up to boost women’s particpation not only in business but also in global leadership positions.
During the launch of the B20 in Saudi Arabia this week, Nashar highlighted the under-representation of women in the economy.
“There is a gap of 27 percent between male and female workers; 75 percent of males are part of the labor force while only 48 percent of females are working,” she said.
She said it was important not to just talk about women as workers but as business owners.

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Saudi Arabia will host the 15th G20 Summit in Riyadh on Nov. 21-22, 2020.

“That’s why entrepreneurship is very fundamental to our task force,” she said.  “The majority of the finance development programs have incentives for giving loans to females; however, despite the fact that many large borrowers are females, the amount of loans granted to them is far below what is granted to males,” she added.
Nashar said that two-thirds of female business founders feel that they were not taken seriously by investors when they pitch for investments. They also feel that they are treated differently from their male counterparts.
Saudi Arabia will host the 15th G20 Summit in Riyadh on Nov. 21-22, 2020. The Kingdom is focusing on the Business 20 (B20), making this one of the key engagement groups. Women in Business will be Saudi Arabia’s signature topic.