In response to the growing demand for its investments in the country, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is stepping up its engagement in Turkey with a new office in the south-eastern city of Gaziantep.
EBRD First Vice President Phil Bennett officially opened the Bank’s third office in Turkey today in the presence of Hakan Tokaç, General Director of the Foreign Economic Relations Department at the Turkish Treasury, Erdal Ata, Governor of Gaziantep Province and Fatma Şahin Mayor of Gaziantep.
“We are opening an office in Gaziantep to accelerate investment in the regions of Turkey. The office will help the EBRD build new business relationships outside the large metropolitan areas of Istanbul and Ankara and better serve micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in the region, which are a priority both for the EBRD and for the Turkish government,” Mr Bennett said as he cut the ribbon.
The EBRD started investing in Turkey in 2009 and currently operates from offices in Istanbul and Ankara. To date, the Bank has invested over €3.8 billion in the country across 124 projects in infrastructure, energy, agribusiness, industry and finance. In only five years the EBRD’s portfolio in Turkey has become one of the largest among the countries where the Bank works.
The office in Gaziantep will focus on providing long-term finance to local companies and offering support and know-how to their management. In this way the Bank will continue to play a key role in promoting the further economic development of Turkey, including its eastern regions.
Home to 1.7 million people, Gaziantep is a dynamic business hub and a gateway to the south-east of the country. The city’s exports account for over 4 per cent of Turkey’s total exports. Gaziantep has a growing industrial base but remains an important centre for agribusiness.
Gokhan Karacetin, a senior banker previously based in Istanbul, will lead the EBRD’s office in Gaziantep. He joined the EBRD at the start of its operations in Turkey in 2009. Mr Karacetin is a Turkish national who has a BSc in Economics from the Istanbul University and an MSc in Management from the London School of Economics.