Istanbul, Turkey, 19 December 2019 – The Islamic Development (IsDB) Group has been supporting the Turkish exporters and SMEs while leveraging the full strength of all entities of the Group especially ITFC, ICIEC, and ICD. This was stated by Mr. Salah Jelassi, Regional Manager of the IsDB Group Regional Hub Turkey, as he addressed the Overseas Investment Forum 2019, in Istanbul, organized by Turkey’s Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK) in cooperation with IsDB Group, FDI center as well as the Norton Rose Full Bright.

In his remarks, Mr. Salah Jelassi also referred to the great emphasis that the leading multilateral development bank of the Muslim world places on fostering and promoting and promoting economic and social development of its member countries and Muslim communities in non-member countries.

“Under the IsDB Group President’s Five-year Program (P5P) to transform the Bank to fit into a new development agenda, one of the core pillars is IsDB Group’s aspiration is to support enhanced competitiveness and greater integration of its Member Countries into Global and Regional Value Chains”, Mr. Jelassi explained.

The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group has been supporting Turkish exporters through strong cooperation with Turk Eximbank. The Group's cumulative financing support to Turk Eximbank amounts to more than US $3.3 billion. The sum includes $370 million financing by the IsDB and $2.9 billion financing by its trade financing arm, the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC).

According to Mr. Jelassi, collaboration with Turk Eximbank to boost export-related activities of Turkish contractors, midcaps and SMEs supports Turkey’s aspiration to position itself as a global market leader through enhanced export competitiveness.

"Forign Direct Investment (FDI) acts as a powerful engine to enhance productivity, spread know-how, enable technology transfer, build new networks and open new markets and the IsDB Group would synergize its efforts to support broader integration of Turkish private sector companies into global value chains, which is so critical for enhancing their productivity and competitiveness," he elaborated.

Fatma Gamze Sarioglu from ICIEC and Ali Camlioglu from ICD also spoke at the forum.

Another keynote speaker at the event was Mr. Volkan Kara, the head of DEIK’s Foreign Investment Business Council who described Turkey as an emerging global player with increasing mergers and acquisitions abroad that perform to a certain standard.

He added that Turkey has a private sector that can invest more than $4 billion in foreign investment per year. "Turkish companies have accelerated their investments in neighboring countries and over the last 15 years, Turkish foreign investments have risen tenfold”, Mr. Volkan added.

"This is certainly not enough. Foreign investments should definitely be included in our medium and long-term economic targets," he reiterated.

The forum then saw the holding of several panels discussing ways to further synergize and facilitate in-depth discussions and candid exchange of experiences on key issues and policy options for facilitating Turkish investments in other IsDB Member Countries.

Established in late 1970s, the Islamic Development Bank Group has so far provided more than $12 billion of development financing to Turkey while its Regional Hub offices in Ankara and Istanbul have been further facilitating this development trend.