The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) has announced the Republic of Turkey as the recipient of its 2009 Country of the Year award. A statement by the agency said, "this award is a reflection on the success of the Agency's program in Turkey supporting their development priorities."

USTDA Acting Director Leocadia I. Zak presented the award to Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan.

"USTDA is delighted to add Turkey to the distinguished list of high-performing partners who have earned the Agency's Country of the Year award," said Acting Director Zak. "This important award reflects the strong economic relationship between Turkey and the United States and I am very proud that USTDA has been able to contribute to this relationship."

Turkey has a long history of engaging USTDA in the early project planning stages for many of its infrastructure development needs. This has allowed the Agency to play a vital role in advancing these priority projects. As a result of this cooperation, the Agency has been able to open the door for U.S. industry to play a significant role in Turkey's continued economic development, which has resulted in the export of more than $630 million in U.S.-manufactured goods and services.

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency advances economic development and U.S. commercial interests in developing and middle-income countries. The agency funds various forms of technical assistance, feasibility studies, training, orientation visits and business workshops that support the development of a modern infrastructure and a fair and open trading environment. USTDA's strategic use of foreign assistance funds to support sound investment policy and decision-making in host countries creates an enabling environment for trade, investment and sustainable economic development. In carrying out its mission, USTDA gives emphasis to economic sectors that may benefit from U.S. exports of goods and services.