Invest in Turkey, says EBRD’s Chakrabarti
With its geographical location, diverse economy and large market, Turkey offers immense opportunities for investors, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has been in the country with a long-term commitment, Suma Chakrabarti, president of the development bank, told Hürriyet.
Chakrabati visited Turkey to mark EBRD’s 10 years of work in the country and met with Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak.
“Ten years is just a start of a story. We are not only here when it is fine but we are here all the way through,” he said, adding that Turkey is the largest portfolio for the EBRD, and 97 percent of it is private sector.
“This year, we have already invested 543 million euros. By the end 2019, this will reach 1 billion. Last year, we invested 1 billion, as well. To reach 1 billion euros of investment in Turkey at a time when there is a lot of volatility in the Turkish economy has been great,” he said.
According to Chakrabarti, the recovery in the Turkish economy has begun, and growth is coming back.
He added that there are many things that make Turkey an attractive country for investment.
“First of all, its geographical position. Secondly, it is a large market. There are 80 million people and a growing middle class. Thirdly, it is a very diverse economy. Fourthly, I would give credit here to the government- a big positive is the work it has been doing slowly but surely to improve Turkey’s position in the World Bank’s doing-business list.”
“As I say to any foreign investors that ask me, and many do, this is a country I would definitely invest in if I had the money. I don’t; EBRD does, and that’s why we believe in this country; that’s why we are investing.”
Lessons learned in Turkey
He underlined that Turkey was the first country that EBRD invested in and which was never communist.
“Because of the success we had in Turkey, our shareholders then decided if EBRD can do it in Turkey, it can do it in other non-communist countries, too. We have taken the lessons we have learned in Turkey to many other countries.”
“We have saved the equivalent of 11.3 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emission in Turkey: this is an enormous saving... And the second area is what we have done for female entrepreneurs in Turkey. Our first major women in business program was in Turkey.”
The bank has helped 20,000 Turkish female entrepreneurs in the last years.
“What we did here with female entrepreneurs, we have taken the same approach now in other countries because of the success we had in Turkey.”