As a member of the Presidentâ€™s Export Council (PEC), I had the good fortune of going to Poland and Turkey with a group led by Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker along with CEOs from Archer Daniels Midland, Lockheed Martin, Marriott, UPS, Vermeer and Xerox as well as representatives from other member firms. The PEC, comprised of companies with an aggregate market capital of over $850 billion, chose Poland and Turkey for our inaugural trip with the Secretary as we view these countries, first and foremost, as high priority economically important growth markets in addition to being strategically significant.
During the trip I wore two hats: one as an ambassador for US businesses broadly promoting the Presidentâ€™s National Export Initiative and US foreign direct investment priorities and, second, as a businessman in representing a cross-border advisory on a fact finding mission to explore Poland and Turkey as good places to enhance our business relationships and our clientâ€™s growth initiatives.
I learned that both Poland and Turkey want many of the same things as the US: transparency, public/private partnerships, infrastructure investment, an all-in energy approach and a skilled labor force/education.
What I found while visiting with both public and private leaders was that there are some incredible market opportunities for US businesses. Given the impressive strides both countries have made in recent years, I am not particularly surprised.