By Tuba Sahin
ANKARA (AA) - Two initiatives by the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) will enable Turkey to have closer dialogue with emerging Islamic countries, Turkey’s deputy prime minister said on Monday,
Speaking at an event introducing the Engage Platform and Transformation Fund projects in the capital Ankara, Mehmet Simsek said Turkey will do what is necessary to make sure the initiatives succeed.
"Those kinds of initiatives should be supported, and we want the IDB to be successful as its targets are in line with ours," Simsek said.
Simsek said Turkey would focus on Africa and Asia along with strengthening its ties with the EU, Middle East, and Central Asia.
"There is a great advancement in Africa and Asia. We will concentrate on emerging countries both as a market and for collaboration, so today's event is important for us," Simsek said.
He also called on oil-rich Islamic countries to put their money in emerging countries that have promise in the long term such as Turkey and Indonesia instead of Western countries.
"Investments in those countries should be intensified. It’s possible to get a big share of the world market through cooperation with companies in emerging countries."
Saleh Jelassi, the IDB Group’s regional director in Turkey, said the two initiatives will help member countries overcome development challenges while promoting the use of science, technology, and innovation (STI).
Turkey distinguishes itself among all Islamic Development Bank member countries and is one of the leading countries in the variety of STI indicators, Jelassi said.
"For instance; Turkey has the highest number of researchers in absolute terms, the third-highest proportion of researchers, the third-highest proportion of GDP spent on R&D, and is the most prolific IDB member country in terms of scientific publications," he said, citing the Atlas of Islamic World Science and Innovation.
Jelassi said the IDB is "cooperating fully" with the Turkish government to benefit from the country's expertise and knowledge in scientific and technological advancement.