May 5, 2015
Ambassador Bass: Thank you General Thompson, Secretary James, colleagues, ladies and gentlemen. I’m really pleased to be here to participate in opening the U.S. pavilion at IDEF this year. I’m interested that in spite of all of the great technology we still have around us, we are still using old technology for ribbon cuttings and I think that’s a charge for all of you and industry to think about. We need to modernize our ribbon cutting technology.
On a more serious note, I am delighted you could be with us today, and I am particularly delighted to see so many powerful women from the U.S. government representing us as the face of America here today. For me, I’m pleased to be here for my first IDEF as a reflection of the great, deep, abiding relationship between United States and Turkey. “Turkiye ve Amerika cok uzun yillardir iyi dosttur ve stratejik ortaklar” and for those of you who are not Turkish speakers, including me, what I said was that for many years the United States and Turkey have been good friends and strategic partners, and our strategic partnership extends into our economic, trade, and defense industrial relationship, and that is clearly demonstrated by the size of the U.S. pavilion, the number of participants we have, and a range of technologies and products that are on display.
We have, I believe, forty firms here from the United States, 2.5 billion dollars in investment in Turkey from those firms represented, investing through that investment in lots of different communities in Turkey supporting thousands of jobs in this economy. So this is not simply an investment between two countries in the government-to-government relationship and the national security partnership although those are key pieces. This is a reflection of the commitment of the United States, promoting economic development, strong economic cooperation, and growth and employment here in Turkey and that’s an important component of our partnership that is not as well understood particularly here in Turkey, as it should be.
That partnership and the investments represented here today are also, as you heard President Erdogan recently say during his opening, an important component in changing and improving the quality of the Turkish economy and defense industry. Many of the partnerships of U.S. companies here today are at the cutting edge of defense technology and they over time are going to help improve the quality of technology and capabilities in the Turkish economy to also produce results for Turkish industry and the Turkish economy, even as we continue to demonstrate results for the U.S. economy. So I’m delighted to be here to help open the U.S. pavilion. I want to commend all of the U.S. companies who are participating. I hope it produces good results for you and if you take nothing else away from today, I want all of the companies here to know what a strong partner and advocate you have in the U.S. Embassy and U.S. government for your business here in Turkey and around the three regions that it touches. So again, thanks for coming, congratulations and welcome.