Major Japanese lender JBIC to open Istanbul office

SINAN ÖZEDINCIK
ISTANBUL
Published 04.09.2019 00:12

The Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), which has undertaken the financing of more than $1 billion worth of projects in many sectors, particularly in the energy sector in Turkey, is taking its activities one step further by opening an office in Istanbul.

The bank, which has not opened offices anywhere in the world in the last decade, has chosen Turkey as its new address. At the event hosted by Turkish global steel producer Tosyalı Holding and the Turkey's Embassy in Tokyo on Monday, JBIC Deputy Governor Nobumitsu Hayashi stated that they plan to open the office in Istanbul before the end of the year.

"We have completed our preparations for the Istanbul office and set up our team. Our colleagues are working in our Levent office. We aim to complete the works before the end of this year," Hayashi said, stressing that they did not have any limits on how big the fund would be for Turkey.

"The sky is really the limit," he continued. "We will evaluate all the projects that come before us. We will support those that suit us. We will provide financing to Japanese companies wishing to enter the Turkish market, as well as the Middle East, Africa and the former Soviet countries."

During the establishment process of the Istanbul office, Hayashi said that he often came to Turkey and that he was very impressed with the country's economic potential. "We are very excited for the Istanbul office, which will operate to support the major projects in Turkey and the investments that Japanese companies will make in third countries in partnership with Turkish companies," he noted.

"They are asking us why we are opening an office in Turkey with the economic situation in Turkey going bad, the news coming negative and the world economy maintaining a poor course. So, we tell them, ‘We are late. We should have opened an office in Turkey a long time ago. Injustice is done to Turkey.' A decade later, we are opening an office abroad for the first time. We are opening the Istanbul office not only for Turkey but also for cooperation opportunities with Turkish companies in the Middle East, Africa, and the former Soviet countries," he stressed.

The volume of loans the bank has provided to Asia alone exceeds 13.9 billion Japanese yen ($130.99 million). Founded in 2012 to support the international activities of Japanese companies, JBIC has a capital of 1.7 billion Japanese yen. As of March 2018, JBIC's financing volume is approaching 14 billion Japanese yen.

Hayashi said that he came to Turkey in the past weeks to examine the facilities of Tosyalı Toyo Kohan, a joint investment between Turkish steel giant and Japanese Toyo Kohan in the southeastern city of Osmaniye, and works with one of Turkey's largest conglomerates, Rönesans Holdings, on city hospital projects.

"I was impressed by the speed of the projects and the technology and the discipline of the facilities. Given Turkey-related messages at the international stage, it is difficult for a senior executive to persuade his/her company's board of directors to invest in Turkey. However, if the potential in Turkey is explained well and we make them see the future and not the present then they are more likely to make investment decision," Hayashi noted.

"Those investing in Turkey today will be very profitable in the long run. Early investors will have the advantage of being the first in the future," he concluded.

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