Islamic Development Bank enjoy ‘strong partnership’ with Turkey: IsDB head
ISTANBUL – Anadolu Agency
Turkey and the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group enjoy “a very strong partnership,” the group’s president said.
“Turkey is the fourth largest beneficiary of IsDB Group financing,” Bandar Hajjar said in an exclusive interview with Anadolu Agency.
So far, the IsDB has invested a total of $11.6 billion in various development projects in Turkey, 45 percent of which were invested over the past five years, he noted.
The bank, through its ten-year strategy, supports different sectors including health, education, transport and energy in Turkey, he said.
“In the energy sector, we have invested over $700 million in renewable energy and energy efficiency enhancement projects to support the Government of Turkey’s targets,” Hajjar said.
“We have also supported around 1,000 megawatt of renewable energy generation and catalyzed around $1.4 billion of relevant investments,” he added.
Through its industrial energy efficiency projects, the IsDB Group has reportedly been able to contribute in reducing more than 2 million tons of reduction in CO2 emissions, Hajjar said.
He added that the IsDB Group also supported transportation projects, especially electric locomotives and high-speed trains, the public-private partnership hospital and science projects.
“We have also been providing support to Turkish exporters and importers to better reach newer markets and increase their productivity and competitiveness in key sectors such crude oil, coal, plastics, textiles, machinery, and soft commodities in the agricultural sector,” Hajjar said.
‘Integrated, holistic solutions’
The group president said his five-year program “aims to find integrated and holistic solutions to the challenges that our member countries are facing while focusing on root causes of development challenges rather than symptoms.”
“Our new business model promotes a change of narrative for development by adopting a growth mindset focusing on job creation and building and strengthening national competitiveness and connectivity to global markets,” he added.
Speaking about the private sector’s development, he underlined that the bank recommended member countries to create long-term policies and plans to promote labor-intensive high value added industrialization and improve the quality of education to create a new generation of skilled and semi-skilled workers.
The IsDB has two science, technology, and innovation programs - Engage and newly launched $500 million Transform Fund - to connect scientists, innovators and entrepreneurs in the online platform and support start-ups and SMEs’ ideas, he explained.
The bank supports member countries which face varying economic and social challenges and actively strives to help accelerate their economic growth, improve productivity, and foster decent work, Hajjer said.
He said the bank also supports the private sector through its various programs and products aiming at building capacity, supporting the development of laws, and overcoming obstacles.
The IsDB Group, established in 1975, has 57 member countries, where nearly 1.7 billion people live, in four continents - Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America.
The IsDB Group, which maintains an authorized capital of $150 billion, has provided about $131 billion of financing to its member countries’ economic development since its establishment.
It has also issued more than $19 billion worth of Sukuk - the noninterest-bearing note - at the global financial markets.