Published June 26th, 2006 - 06:17 GMT

The Arab Bank for Investment and Foreign Trade (ARBIFT) has announced plans to expand into Turkey with the opening of a new base in the country on the horizon.

The strategy, in its early stages, will build on existing business ties between the UAE federal owned  bank and the Turkish financial market by capitalising on investment opportunities created through the country’s current privatisation programme, as well as Turkey’s potential as a gateway into the European market.

“Following our growth across North Africa and the Middle East, we’re now looking at Turkey as the next important regional hub,” said Mr. Ibrahim Nasser Lootah, ARBIFT’s board member and general manager.

“The increased levels of collaboration with the European Union, coupled with attractive investment opportunities across the reforming public sector, make it an obvious choice for us to develop stronger banking relations with turkey.”

Alongside its own expansion, ARBIFT’s presence in Turkey will help other UAE-based companies looking to invest in new business ventures by acting as a one-stop-shop able to provide product and property solutions as well as advice on commercial and embassy issues.

Initial plans will be solidified later this year when ARBIFT’s participates in an inaugural trade exhibition dedicated to UAE-Turkey bilateral ties.

‘The UAE Trade Exhibition in Turkey’, taking place in Istanbul from 13-15 September, will feature exhibitors covering  a wide range of industries and services including financial, real estate, manufacturing, and tourism.

Seminars giving UAE companies advice on how to succeed in Turkey are scheduled throughout the event and the Sharjah Airport and Ras Al Khaimah Free Zone Authorities will also be in attendance, aiming to attract Turkish businesses to invest in the UAE.

“Turkey is opening up its markets to foreign trade,” said Idil Akin, general manager of technical organiser of the trade show, Mosaic Organizations.  “Now is a key time for investment and this is why both the UAE and Turkish governments are giving their full support to this inaugural event.”

“At ARBIFT we see a very bright future doing business with Turkey,” added Lootah. “The foundations are there and, because we share such strong cultural and economic values, the situation can only improve to both side’s mutual benefit.”

Established in 1976 as joint project between the UAE Government, The Libyan Arab Foreign Bank and Banque Exterieure d’Algerie, ARBIFT has an established history of supporting cross-nation ties and developing trade relations throughout the Middle East.

The ‘UAE Trade Exhibition in Turkey’ is being organised by Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DCCI), Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (JAFZA) and Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) and will take place at the Grand Cevahir Hotel and Convention Centre in Istanbul between 13-15 September.

The event is also supported by Turkish Travel Agents Association and is taking place under the patronage of the Turkish Chambers of Commerce and the Turkish Secretary of Foreign Trade.


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