World Bank Approves $759.6m Loan to Turkey

Published May 28th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

World Bank officials gave Turkey's economic reform program its vote of confidence Saturday, when it signed a 759.6-million-dollar loan with the government, reported AFP Sunday. 

The loan, for reforms focused mainly in social insurance, agriculture and infrastructure, is repayable over 15 years after a five-year grace period, the agency added. 

"This loan is an immediate evidence that we support the government's program," World Bank President James Wolfensohn was quoted as saying after the signing ceremony with Turkey's Economics Minister Recep Onal. 

"The government and parliament have a very clear program in mind. This partnership will continue and will be very effective," he added. 

"Turkey, with 80 million people in 20 years, will be Europe's biggest country. We support its development," said Wolfensohn. 

According to Reuters, the bank would help Turkey's telecommunications sector, by setting up a new regulatory agency to increase competition in the mobile phone industry.  

Last December, the World Bank announced a three billion dollar loan, the agency added.  

The International Monetary Fund has also opened a credit line of four billion dollars over three years. 

Wolfensohn also had talks with private business executives in Istanbul, the country's economic and business centre, and visited the village of Golcuk, devastated by an earthquake last August, Reuters said – (Several Sources) 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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