EBRD chief does not expect Turkey’s political strain with Europe to affect economic ties
Vahap Munyar - LONDONThe head of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has said the bank does not expect Turkey’s strained ties with Europe to spill over to their economic relations, adding that Turkey will likely become the top recipient of the lender’s funds in 2017.
EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti also noted that Turkey is “like a laboratory” for the bank to experience new things and they are happy with almost all of their investments in the country.
“Of course, strained political ties between Turkey and Europe do not help. However, we do not expect this will affect economic ties. Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci has also given a similar message,” Chakrabarti told reporters in London after a ceremony to sign a financing deal between the lender and Turkey’s real estate developer NEF.
Chakrabarti, who has run the EBRD for five years, also noted that they did not face any problems with their investments in Turkey during his term, with a few exceptions.
“We will continue to invest in Turkey. The country will likely become the top recipient of our funds this year,” he added.
The EBRD has invested 7 billion euros in Turkey since 2009, and the country again became the top recipient of the lender’s funds in 2016 with an investment of 2.7 billion euros in over 40 projects, according to EBRD representatives.
Chakrabarti also noted that the bank adopted some first projects in Turkey and made them online in other markets, including its projects to support women employment and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
“Turkey is a key laboratory for the EBRD. Some of our projects, which are firsts of their kind, gained success in Turkey and we later carried them to other markets. Our deal with the NEF is also a first for us, namely our first investment in this sector. We can use this model later in other countries,” he added.
The EBRD is owned by 65 countries from five continents, as well as the European Union and the European Investment Bank. These shareholders have each made a capital contribution, which forms our core funding.
The U.S. is a founding member of the EBRD and an important contributor to the lender’s work, according to the lender’s website.