Set to become one of the world's top 10 financial centers, Istanbul International Finance Center (IIFC), for which studies on the legal infrastructure have already begun, is expected to attract funds primarily from the Gulf countries.
As the government seeks to provide a safe haven for investors looking for security, the work on the IIFC, that will attract billions of investment dollars, has been expedited. Presiding over the Coordination Council of Istanbul International Finance Center, established with the aim of accelerating the work on the IIFC, Deputy Prime Minsiter Nurettin Canikli said, "Istanbul will host Gulf funds. Offering competitive advantages, the IIFC will appeal to many investors. Istanbul will be listed among the top 25 global financial centers, and the city will be a safe haven for the capital owners."
Speaking to Sabah daily, Deputy Prime Minister Canikli explained how the IIFC will boost the growth of the Turkish economy and how the newly established council offers Turkey new opportunities. Pointing out the fact that global markets have entered a process of profound transformation, Canikli said in a period of new financial transformation where Britain has decided to "divorce" the European Union and the U.S. leans toward protectionist policies, the fact that Istanbul is stepping up with its financial centers is of vital importance. The IIFC will increase the diversity of financial derivatives and financial services. The technological and legal infrastructure will be developed, and participation banking and a non-interest system will be created.
Istanbul is the new address of finance
Deputy Prime Minister Canikli noted that with the strategic advantages the IIFC offers, Istanbul will become a regional and global finance hub. "International capital, particularly Gulf capital, does not feel assured in the developed markets. Istanbul is the new alternative to the financial global markets," he added, confirming that IIFC has the adequate depth and reliability to meet the demand of the global markets.
Noting that the Turkish financial system survived critical financial developments with drastic ups and downs, which had the capacity to severely impact the financial system, Canikli highlighted that Turkey came through with the least amount of scratches and is now becoming a center of attraction for global funds. The IIFC will bring more funds to our country, which means more investments, more jobs and more food, the minister said.
The minister also confirmed that the technological infrastructure of the Borsa Istanbul (BIST) is being renewed through the support garnered from NASDAQ. Stating that Istanbul possesses great potential to bring together investors and financial institutions in centers such as Moscow, Warsaw, Cairo, and Dubai, Canikli indicated that Turkey's proximity to the countries in Asia, the Middle East and North Africa in terms of time zones was an advantage. He also explained that the country's physical proximity to London, Frankfurt, and Paris and Turkey's time zone, which provides limited time difference with the European countries, offers great opportunities for financial institutions considering opening branches in Istanbul.
As Canikli elaborated, the IIFC has three main goals: the first is to propel Turkey into the top 30 countries in terms of financial development. The second is to increase the share of financial services within the GDP to 6 percent and lastly, to place Turkey among the first 25 financial centers around the world. Moreover, the minister also stated that a promotion and communication strategy is on the agenda of the action plan.
Istanbul International Finance Center
The IstanbulInternational Financial Center (IIFC) project - which started in 2009 and is currently being developed in Istanbul's Ataşehir district - has been designed to be one of the world's major financial centers. This landmark government project aims to build a larger financial center than the existing ones in New York, London and Dubai and also aims to make Istanbul the center of finance internationally. It will create a center designed be the heart of the world financial sector and serve 24/7 as a public hub. With the completion of the project, some 30,000 people will be employed. Constructed on an area of 2.5 million square meters (26.9 million square feet), the IIFC will have 560,000 square meters of office space, 90,000 square meters of shopping mall, 70,000 square meters of hotel, 60,000 square meters of residential space and a culture and congress center with a capacity of 2,000.
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