The European Investment Bank has opened its regional representations in Ankara and Istanbul. The inauguration ceremonies were attended by some 400 invitees from the government as well as the banking and business world and were followed by addresses from the Undersecretary of the Treasury, Mr İbrahim H. Çanakcı, in Ankara and Minister of State, Mehmet Şimşek, and EIB President Philippe Maystadt in Istanbul.

The establishment of the two local offices will further strengthen the EIB's responsiveness to the financing needs of public and private clients in Turkey and reinforce its cooperation with the local institutions and partners.

Investments in efficient infrastructure, ranging from the large-scale trans-European transport corridors to improved local infrastructure by municipalities are essential to underpin Turkey’s significant economic growth and will contribute to closer trading links with EU members and global markets or support the prosperity of the country. The EIB has partnered with national and foreign industrial investors and is supporting, through cooperation with an extended network of local banks, a vibrant SME sector in Turkey. While the Bank is deepening its activity in the above fields, it also progressively expanding into other priority areas, such as support to sustainable, competitive and secure energy and Research & Development and Innovation, which will be essential for future prosperity, underlined EIB President Philippe Maystadt.

The EIB has been involved in lending operations in Turkey since the mid 1960s, where its mission is to support the country’s economic development even in times of downturns and assist Turkey during its pre-accession phase to the EU. During more than 40 years’ of experience in the country, the Bank has invested in all key sectors of the country’s economy, both public and private sector. These investments which contribute to Turkey’s increasing competivenesstotal over 10 bn since 2000 and have reached some EUR 2.8 bn in 2008 underlining the Bank's commitment to the country, which is the largest recipient country of EIB funding outside the EU.

The EIB has appointed Alain Terraillon as the Bank's Head of Office in Istanbul which will become fully operational as from November 2008.