Turkey reveals plans to become regional finance center
Turkey intends to become a significant regional finance center for both conventional and Islamic banking. This comes as a direct challenge to Bahrain, Beirut and Dubai which are also pursuing this role.
At the recent opening of the International Islamic Finance Forum in Istanbul Finance Minister Kemal Unakitan said, “Our target is to make Istanbul the financial city of the future. We will be open to non-interest finance as well as all other types of financial institution.”
His statement followed a sweeping presentation of recent economic progress in Turkey. For 2003 Turkey has a five percent gross domestic product (GDP) growth target and 12 percent inflation target, he said. This compares with a 10 percent economic contraction and very high inflation in recent times.
The Minister strongly denied that the Turkish privatization process was going slowly, and called on Gulf companies to come forward to participate in privatization, particularly in the petrochemicals sector later this year. He claimed that Turkey was now consigning its recent economic problems to history, and made his ambitions to place Istanbul at the center of regional finance clear.
The International Islamic Finance Forum is organized by Dubai based IRR Holdings. The forum is organized in association with Dow Jones Indexes and Kuwait Turkish Finance House. The major sponsors are National Commercial Bank of Saudi Arabia and Noriba of Bahrain. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)