EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti visits Turkey

By Olga Rosca

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President underscores Bank’s commitment to Turkey, introduces new management team
A senior delegation from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) led by President Sir Suma Chakrabarti visited Turkey on 19 and 20 February 2015. Discussions with senior government officials, members of the business community and civil society organisations focused on the EBRD’s investment priorities in the country.
In a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan, President Chakrabarti reinforced the EBRD’s strong commitment to supporting the Turkish economy and the country’s economic reforms.
Mr Babacan said: “I am pleased that the EBRD’s relationship with Turkey is growing at a healthy pace, and opening a third office in Gaziantep is a good development.”
President Chakrabarti commented: “We see growing demand for our finance in Turkey: from family-run micro enterprises in remote regions to large corporates competing on the global market as well as small municipalities seeking to improve people’s lives through better infrastructure. In response to this demand the EBRD will step up its engagement even further.”
The EBRD started investing in Turkey in 2009. It currently operates from offices in Istanbul, Ankara and Gaziantep.
In just six years the Bank has invested almost €5 billion in Turkey through more than 140 projects in infrastructure, energy, agribusiness, industry and finance. It has also mobilised over €12 billion from other sources of financing. In 2014, Turkey became the leading recipient country of the EBRD with new investments worth €1.4 billion.
In Ankara President Chakrabarti also met representatives of civil society organisations.
Meanwhile, EBRD First Vice President Phil Bennett met leading Turkish businesses and longstanding EBRD partners in Istanbul, including Akfen Holding, Şişecam Group, İşbank and Borsa Istanbul.
The visit also coincided with a change in the EBRD senior management team to be based in Istanbul, following the retirement of the country director Michael Davey.
President Chakrabarti highly appreciated Mr Davey’s successful work at the EBRD, spanning more than 20 years and 14 countries.
He said: “On behalf of the EBRD I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Mike Davey for his particularly strong contribution to the success of our Bank. In the six years he spent in Turkey, Mike Davey built up our activities to such an extent that the country became the single largest recipient of EBRD investments in 2014. He also established our presence in three offices across Turkey. I would also like to thank him for his dedication and commitment to the EBRD's mandate and for building up EBRD business, often in particularly challenging environments. We wish him all the very best for his future.”
Mr Davey will be succeeded by Jean-Patrick Marquet, currently EBRD Director for Municipal and Environmental Infrastructure, who will take up the post as Director for Turkey in Istanbul on 16 March 2015.
The EBRD has also created the position of Managing Director for Turkey and Central Asia and appointed Natalia Khanjenkova, previously Managing Director for Russia, to the new post. This is the first time that a Managing Director has been based in Istanbul, underscoring the importance of Turkey for the Bank and the role of Istanbul as a hub for EBRD operations. Ms Khanjenkova will assume her new position on 1 April 2015.
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