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TACCI Hosted a Networking Luncheon and Seminar for Auto Parts Industry

On July 23rd, TACCI held a networking luncheon at AXA Equitable Quarters followed by presentations on how to establish and run a successful auto parts business in the U.S., and a Q&A session. The event was hosted by Burak Alpaslan, Managing partner of Vital Planning Group. Event's keynote speaker Gokhan Kuru, from Disa Automative, focused on auto parts manufacturers and dealers and how to find buyers and suppliers in this market. Kuru also addressed current challenges of the automotive industry in the U.S., and potential future trends. 

The speakers at the seminar included Serhan Kara, our Turkish Consulate General, New York, Commercial Attaché;  as well as Martha Soffer, from U.S. Small Business Administration; Pinar Guvenc, from New York Grant Company; and Frank Pagano, CEO of the The speakers gave presentations on various topics including business advice, developing business plans, potential economic incentives and grants for commercial, and manufacturing or industrial businesses within the U.S.

Event began with TACCI President, Celal Secilmis's opening remarks, followed by The President of Kocaeli Chamber of Industry, Ayhan Zeytinoglu. He took the stage briefly to talk about how Turkey is attracting businesses from all over the globe due to the quality of the work, and how Kocaeli is a major part of Turkey's industry and tax revenues.

Serhan Kara, our Turkish Consulate General, New York, Commercial Attaché; took the stage to inform our guests about New York’s remarkable place among all other states in terms of US economy. He shared the numeric data for New York’s high import and export values and for the increasing trade volume between New York and Turkey comparing to the previous year. 

He gave remarks on New York’s higher GDP levels as the world’s most important finance and business center compared to the national data. Another topic he mentioned was the New York City Hall’s efforts to provide low-cost real estate, education, networking opportunities to small businesses and entrepreneurs as an incubator. He also reminded that New York is a place for opportunities thanks to the great work done by New York City Mayors in terms of security and transportation infrastructure, incubators and financial supports, intellectual level of the city.

Some important facts that he underlined:

  • Being the leading one among the most developed provinces in the US, the world's largest economy, New York’s GDP level is around 1.16 trillion dollars, while the per capita income is 57.400 dollars in 2010.
  • As of 2011 state exports for New York amounted to $ 226 billion and increased by 17.6% over the previous year. Canada, Britain and the People's Republic of China are the most important export stations for US while diamonds, aircraft, gold, vehicles, medical products and jewelry exports are the mainly export products.
  • In 2011 state imports for New York increased by 16.4% over the previous year and reached $ 299 billion. Canada, China, Germany, India and Japan are the leading countries as US import partners while the transport equipment, petroleum products, diamonds, and medicinal drugs are the main products to be imported. 
  • While Turkey’s exports to New York State in 2010 were around 1.235 billion dollars of exports that amount increased by only 0.4% over the previous year in 2011 and increased to $ 1.240 billion. The main products for exports in the year 2011 were jewelry, petroleum products, aircraft components and cables.
  • Turkey’s imports from New York in 2011 increased by 24.2% compared to 2010 and the amount reached to $ 2.4 billion. Scrap iron and steel products, aircraft and parts, steam turbines, turbo-jets and the jewels were the mainly imported products of the year 2011.
  • New York City, is taking strong steps towards becoming “The invention city of 21st century”. With the new eight separate incubators in the city, they provide low-cost office space, training, and networking opportunities for entrepreneurs. 
  • New funds for technology entrepreneurs are also created in NY. The most recent example of this is $ 2 billion dollar project for high-tech graduate school in Roosevelt Island, by the cooperation of Cornell University and Technion, the Israel Institute of Technology.
  • According to the report by PriceHouseWaterCoopers published for the 4th time in 2011, the first five cities on the “Cities for Opportunity” list are New York, Toronto, San Francisco, Stockholm and Sydney while the last five are Mumbai, Johannesburg, Sao Paolo, Istanbul and Santiago. While New York is among top 3 cities in different topics, it is the leading city regarding technology readiness and life style assets. 


Martha Soffer, from the U.S. Small Business Administration, gave information about how they assist businesses to become successful in the forms of resources and programs such as loans, loan guarantees, contracts, or counseling sessions. She also explained the SBA’s pillar mechanism that consists of 5 parts; Financing programs, Business Counseling and Training, Government Contracting, Advocacy and Ombudsman in details to our guests.

Pinar Guvenc, from New York Grant Company, informed our guests about the potential economic incentives for businesses in US. She grouped her topics into 3 areas; jobs, real estate and green grants. Also she brought attention to the importance of applying for grants and incentives early to maximize the benefits for the companies, and how New York Grant Company is helping those companies expedite the process.

In his speech, Frank Pagano, CEO of, shared his insights about being in auto parts industry in the U.S. and gave valuable advice based on his experience. He summarized these on 5 points. He began his speech by stressing the need to be patient in this industry; he stated that the market is large, but it takes time to generate profits. Furthermore, he advised the audience to seek out and find an agent in the U.S. with whom you can begin the process so it'll be a quicker and easier process. Moreover, he told the audience that they need to have a clear understanding of the vehicle mix in the U.S. to make sure they have the proper range of product to have a lucrative business in this market. Pagano continued his speech by advising the audience to be prepared to ship the products with fast lead time in order to differentiate themselves from manufacturers in Asia with significantly lower wages. He ended his speech by recommending the audience to consider listing their products on free websites to have their products available for public viewing in order to better reach their potential clients.

As the keynote speaker, Gokhan Kuru took the stage to tell us about his expertise in automotive manufacturing business in the U.S. and emphasized the importance to be patient. Moreover, throughout his presentation, Kuru gave strong advice regarding what companies need to do before taking their businesses to the U.S.; he talked about issues regarding visa status, real estate, trademark, insurance, pay roll, accounting and tax comparing doing business in the U.S. to Turkey. 


Presentations were followed by a short networking event and gifts are exchanged between the two chambers’ Presidents Ayhan Zeytinoglu and Celal Secilmis and Commercial Attaché, Serhan Kara.  


The event, which took place on the 15th floor of AXA Equitable Quarters, gathered over 50 TACCI members and guests. The attendees of the event spent the day networking and socializing, accompanied by food and beverages.

TACCI will continue its efforts to help promote the bilateral trade between Turkey and the U.S. and is looking forward to hosting such events in the near future.

The presenters appearing at this event are not associates or employees of AXA Equitable Life Insurance company (AXA Equitable) or its affiliates and are solely responsible for the content of their presentations. The event's host, Burak Alpaslan, is a registered representative of AXA Advisors, LLC (member FINRA. SIPC) and an agent of AXA Network, LLC. Vital Planning group is not owned or operated by AXA Advisors or its affiliates. AGE 69542 (07:12)