EBRD President’s visit to Turkey highlights outstanding private sector work

By Olga Rosca

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Sir Suma Chakrabarti together with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Şimşek.

Turkey praises EBRD business model, commits €25 million in grants to co-finance Bank-led projects

EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti concluded a two-day visit to Turkey today.

He held high-level meetings with the country’s leadership and leading firms to take stock of the Bank’s robust contribution to the Turkish economy and discuss the reforms needed to help the country realise its full economic potential.

The EBRD is a major investor in the country. Since 2009, the Bank has invested €10 billion in various sectors of the Turkish economy with almost all investments in the private sector. These are combined with support for policies which help modernise the country’s economy and build up its resilience.

The importance of the EBRD-Turkey relationship was highlighted in an extensive bilateral discussion with the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

He praised the Bank’s work and its successful model of sustainable and inclusive development led by the private sector in combination with support in the area of policy reform.

President Erdoğan attended the event marking the creation of a €25 million donor fund through which Turkey will co-finance socially important EBRD-led projects in the country and beyond.

President Erdoğan said: "Since I last met EBRD President Chakrabarti at the Bank's annual meeting in 2013 which we hosted here in Turkey, we have seen our relationship develop into an exceptional cooperation. Having skilfully assessed the country's potential, the EBRD believes in Turkey. Its investments here are performing in a stellar way and its commitment to Turkey proves that our relationship is very productive. The government reform programme and the EBRD's priorities in the country are aligned which provides for solid cooperation. With the creation of a donor fund, we are taking our relationship to the next level. Turkey wholeheartedly believes that our funds will provide a great return on investment for the benefit of people."

Signing the agreement on behalf of the Turkish government, Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Şimşek stressed that this is the first time Turkey has signed a bilateral donor agreement with an international financial institution.

The EBRD President also met top management of Turkey’s largest conglomerates and the EBRD’s strong partners, Koç and Sabancı holdings, and the biggest private lender İşbank. He encouraged them to innovate – through enhanced efficiency, good corporate governance and by growing their own talent – so that they can bring their know-how to other regions and further integrate into the global economy. 

In addition, President Chakrabarti addressed the general assembly of the leading Turkish business association TÜSİAD. He reinforced the importance of high standards of corporate and state governance as one of the indispensable qualities of a successful market economy.

The EBRD believes that a well-functioning market economy should be well-governed, inclusive, green, competitive, resilient and integrated.

 “We look to you for even more leadership on innovation and investments that are both sustainable and inclusive,” President Chakrabarti told leading Turkish industrialists and businessmen. “And there is still more you can do through such leadership to inspire the hugely important small business sector here, as well as your peers in the wider region.”  

He also stressed that greater predictability, a stable and well-implemented legal and regulatory framework, and further reform of the business environment will help unlock both local and foreign investment which in turn will create jobs and boost the economy in a sustainable and inclusive way.

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