IFC plans to invest $2 billion in Turkey

IFC plans to invest $2 billion in Turkey

ISTANBUL - Anatolia News Agency
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) plans to invest some $2 billion in Turkey.

Lars Thunell, the executive vice president and chief executive officer (CEO) of IFC, said the corporation was preparing to make significant investments in Turkey during a time when concerns about the eurozone and global uncertainties have increased.

The Turkish economy has proved it is resistant to the global economic crisis, Thunell told Anatolia news agency in an exclusive interview.

Turkey has many advantages and is geographically close to the European and Middle Eastern markets with a strong banking system and a developed private sector, Thunell said.

The executive vice president said the IFC has confidence in Turkey and would keep investing in the country starting with plans to invest some $2 billion in Turkey between 2012 and 2015.

Turkey ranked second in the IFC’s investment portfolio, and was fourth in an uncompleted investments portfolio, Thunell said.

Thunell said the IFC would invest $500 million in Turkey by the end of the 2012 fiscal year, and had so far invested $100.

Turkey has fulfilled reforms to strengthen its economy, Thunell said.

Thunell said Turkey should continue strengthening the business atmosphere in the country, supporting particularly small and medium scale enterprises and strengthening working conditions, vocational training and talent.

The CEO said the IFC had invested $350 million to contribute to the regional development of 15 Turkish companies between 2008 and 2011.

Thunell said the IFC was mainly funding projects to eliminate gender inequality, increase energy efficiency and develop underdeveloped parts of Turkey.

Turkey should increase its competitive power to sustain its economic growth, Thunell said.

Turkey could increase its competitive power by raising its elementary education quality, ensuring employment efficiency, increasing transparency and productivity in public institutions, and improving infrastructure, Thunell said.

The IFC will make giant investments in Turkey that could enable Istanbul to host the Olympic games in 2020, Thunell said.
Thunell also said the IFC office in Turkey was steering 50 countries in the eastern and southern Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East and North Africa.

IFC’s Istanbul office has become the location of IFC’s first Operations Center outside Washington, serving Central and Eastern Europe, Central Asia, Southern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa regions.

This decision is the result of the evolution of the Istanbul office over the past five years from a regional hub into a diverse multi-regional center.

IFC evaluated a number of locations for such an operations center and concluded that Istanbul not only has good infrastructure and the advantage of regional proximity to our clients, but also meets a number of other criteria for conducting our business.

The establishment of the Istanbul Operations Center is a landmark event for IFC that will significantly increase the presence of senior management in the region.

The Istanbul office now employs over 200 people.