President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Odile Renaud-Basso (above) is paying her first official visit to Turkey on May 3 and 4, using a virtual format for meetings with the government, the private sector and civil society.
As travel and in-person meetings continue to be disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, Renaud-Basso will make use of digital platforms, which have profoundly reshaped ways of working and international relations over the past year, the development bank said.
Meetings are planned with representatives of central and municipal authorities, businesses, local banks, international financial institutions (IFIs) and members of the diplomatic community and civil society. The focus will be Turkey’s post-COVID-19 recovery and the EBRD investments that will support it.
Speaking ahead of her meetings, Renaud-Basso said: “Turkey, like many other countries where we invest, is challenged by the ongoing pandemic. Bringing the health crisis under control will trigger an economic rebound. The EBRD is prepared to mobilise all tools at its disposal and to use the Bank’s creative capacity to help the Turkish economy in this rebound.”
As part of the EBRD’s commitment to helping “build back better” and develop greener economies, Renaud-Basso will sign, in a video conference with Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu, a memorandum of understanding that will formalise the process of Turkey’s largest city joining the EBRD Green Cities programme. The bank and the municipality of Istanbul will work together to implement sustainability measures that will benefit the city’s population of 16mn people.
The EBRD chief will also sign an accord with the Turkish Minister of Industry and Technology Mustafa Varank to boost innovation in competitive sectors such as machinery, electrical equipment, electronics, mobility, pharmaceuticals and chemicals.
The EBRD, with offices in Istanbul and Ankara and 100 staff on the ground in Turkey, has invested more than €13 billion in the country, with 96% ploughed into the private sector. In 2020, the bank responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by stepping up its financing in the country to €1.7bn from €1bn in 2019.
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