By Tuncay Kayaoglu
ISTANBUL (AA) - The European Investment Bank, or EIB, has supported more than 4,000 Turkish small and medium enterprises (SME) in 2015, the Bank’s Turkey representative, Massimo d’Eufemia, said.
“The commitment for us is to reach more and more small and family businesses,” d’Eufemia told a group of reporters this week.
The EIB has taken part in the Turkey Growth and Investment Fund (TGIF) by contributing 60 million euros ($66 million) for a total fund size of 200 million euros ($222 million).
The European Union’s bank, the largest foreign financier in the country, has been active in financing projects in Turkey since the 1960s.
Following the start of Turkey’s EU accession negotiations in 2004, the bank has stepped up its lending operations to help Turkey’s development and integration with the EU.
In 2015 alone, total EIB financing in Turkey reached 2.3 billion euros ($2.5 billion). The bank may lend out more than 2.5 billion euros in 2016 ($2.7 billion), according to the institution.
D’Eufemia revealed that the bank lent 23 billion euros ($25 billion) during the 2005-15 period, adding that a sizeable amount (42.3 percent) went to SMEs.
D’Eufemia stressed that the reason behind such support resided in the dynamic nature of Turkish economy.
The EU bank has also been instrumental in boosting innovation and start-ups in Turkey.
Since 2006, the European Investment Fund (EIF), a subsidiary of the bank, helped create an Istanbul Venture Capital Initiative.
The Istanbul Venture Capital Fund completed its mission last month. A new initiative called Turkey Growth and Investment Fund (TGIF) was then launched, with 200 million euros available, said d’Eufemia.