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Cablegate: Ambassador Raises Foreign Investment Issues With

Published: Fri 7 Mar 2003 12:06 PM
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS ANKARA 001473
SIPDIS
SENSITIVE
STATE FOR E, P, EUR/SE AND EB
TREASURY FOR U/S TAYLOR AND OASIA - MILLS
NSC FOR QUANRUD AND BRYZA
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EINV ECON PREL TU
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR RAISES FOREIGN INVESTMENT ISSUES WITH
FINANCE MINISTER, WHO AGREES TO MEET WITH U.S. COLA
COMPANIES
Sensitive but unclassified, and not for internet
distribution.
1. (SBU) AMB paid an office call on Finance Minister Kemal
Unakitan March 7 largely to discuss the status of the 2003
budget (septel). AMB also raised the need to improve the
foreign investment climate in Turkey, and wanted to cite
several examples.
2. (SBU) AMB said the Citibank General Manager in Turkey had
praised Unakitan's instrumental role in resolving a tax issue
involving Citibank's foreign portfolio investors. AMB said
he wanted to add his appreciation to the minister. His
intervention had allowed Citibank's important economic
activity in Turkey to continue. Unakitan, clearly pleased,
said he was only doing his job.
3. (SBU) AMB then raised the long-standing tax treatment of
cola beverage producers. AMB stressed the differing tax
treatment of Cola versus other beverages, and how the 48
percent tax rate on cola was stifling investment and limiting
employment in this field. Unakitan replied that he was aware
of the problem. He had met with U.S. cola companies briefly
at Davos in January. He told the AMB he would meet the cola
companies in Ankara and give the problem a more extended
hearing. AMB thanked him and said he would pass this onto
the U.S. cola producers.
PEARSON
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