Cablegate: Industry Minister Promises Swift Action On Cargill
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
261049Z Apr 04
UNCLAS ANKARA 002334
DEPT FOR EB AND EUR/SE
USDOC FOR DDEFALCO
DEPT PASS USTR FOR LERRION
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAGR EINV TU
SUBJECT: INDUSTRY MINISTER PROMISES SWIFT ACTION ON CARGILL
SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED. PLEASE HANDLE ACCORDINGLY.
1. (SBU) On April 21, the Ambassador met with Industry and
Commerce Minister Ali Coskun to press for resolution of U.S.
company disputes, particularly Cargill,s zoning issue.
Highlighting the importance of foreign direct investment for
raising living standards and the opportunities to showcase
the Turkish economy during the upcoming POTUS visit, the
Ambassador asked Coskun about the status of new industrial
zones legislation intended to remedy zoning difficulties at
Cargill,s corn syrup factory in Orhangazi. Coskun told the
Ambassador that the GOT was working to resolve business
problems we had raised previously, that action on a number of
these cases was imminent, and that he would provide a status
report on them soon. In particular, Coskun said that the
industrial zones legislation was to be submitted to
Parliament,s Industry Committee on April 22, and that he
expected the bill to be enacted within the next two weeks,
possibly over the objections of the Republican People,s
Party (CHP). Coskun said that GOT would designate several
industrial zones under the new legislation simultaneously to
avoid the perception that this bill was designed only to
benefit Cargill. Coskun opined that President Sezer might
also have reservations about the bill, and said that Prime
Minister Erdogan planned to discuss this with the President
to avert a veto. He added that it might also be useful for
the Embassy to raise this with Presidential staff at some
point in the future, but that, for now, this would be
unnecessary and possibly counterproductive.
2. (SBU) The Ambassador also raised the annual sugar quota
process, emphasizing the need to set quotas which allow not
only corn syrup producers to operate in a commercially viable
way, but which also satisfy the needs of various consuming
industries. Coskun responded that sugar beet production is a
sensitive economic sector, given the dependence of 500,000
Turkish families throughout Turkey on this for a livelihood.
He said the GOT strives to balance the demands of sugar beet
and corn syrup producers to avoid chaos in these markets, and
that beet producers have complained less about competition as
they have diversified their production.