The EBRD’s Board of Directors has approved a new country strategy for Turkey which will define the Bank’s activities in the country for the next three years.
While Turkey was hit hard by the global financial crisis in 2008-09, the economy has rebounded quickly. Strategically located at the crossroads of Europe and the Middle East, the open Turkish economy has benefited from a boom in foreign investment and trade but also remains vulnerable to external shocks. With imports outpacing exports by a factor of two, Turkey's current account deficit remains high. Structural reforms continue to be critical to develop the competitiveness of the domestic and export oriented industries and boost businesses in underdeveloped regions.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development started investing in Turkey only in 2009. However, Turkey is quickly becoming one of the biggest countries of EBRD operations by volume of investment. So far, the Bank has invested more than €1.5 billion in over 50 projects, almost all of which are in the private sector, mainly supporting small and medium-sized companies and concentrating on remote areas of the country.
While its main office will continue to be in Istanbul, the EBRD will also open a new office in Ankara in May 2012 which will focus on supporting the public-private sector dialogue in areas such as renewable energy, food security and capital market development.
In the next three years, the EBRD’s activities in Turkey will concentrate on the following areas:
• developing sustainable energy
• promoting the development of mid-sized corporates in underdeveloped regions
• enhancing the competitiveness of Turkish industry
• supporting privatisation
• promoting market approaches toward investment in municipal infrastructure
• supporting women’s entrepreneurship.
The Bank will also support Turkey’s further economic integration with Europe and closer economic and trade ties with the southern and eastern Mediterranean countries.