By Bahattin Gonultas
ANKARA (AA) - Public-private infrastructure investment in Turkey hit its highest level last year, according to the World Bank on Tuesday.
Two mega-projects - a new airport at Istanbul and a highway in western Turkey - were among deals that saw $44.7 billion invested by the public and private sectors in Turkish infrastructure - the highest level of such investment in 139 low- and middle-income economies.
The previous five years saw an average of $10.2 billion invested in similar deals.
In a statement, the World Bank said: “The data showed that Turkey raised the bar in 2015 with the financial closure of seven projects for a record $44.7 billion, absorbing 40 per cent of global investment with two megadeals in transport - Istanbul’s $35.6 billion IGA Airport (including a $29.1 billion concession fee to the government) and the $6.4 billion Gebze-Izmir motorway.”
The bank’s review of more than 8,000 projects in 139 countries found global investment in 2015 fell to $111.6 billion, below the $124.1 billion average between 2010 and 2014. A drop in investment levels in Brazil, China and India was the primary cause, the report noted.
Brazil saw $47.2 billion in public-private investments in 2014 fall to $4.5 billion last year.
“The data finds that investments in other emerging economies increased rapidly to $99.9 billion, representing a 92 per cent year-over-year increase,” Clive Harris, the bank’s public-private partnerships manager, said.
Private infrastructure investments rose in Africa and Europe and central Asia, he added.
Spending on renewables energy projects rose 72 per cent on the previous five-year average while the transport sector received 63 percent of global investment.
Istanbul’s new airport is being built by the Cengiz-Kolin-Limak-Mapa-Kalyon consortium, promising to pay the Turkish government €22.1 billion over 25 years from 2017. Boasting passenger capacity of 150 million, the airport is expected to be one of the world’s biggest.
The 430 kilometer (270 mile) Gebze-Orhangazi-Izmir highway will allow drivers to cover the distance between Istanbul and Izmir in less than four hours - more than halving the current journey time.
Other projects include Istanbul’s Marmaray rail tunnel, a separate road tunnel and a third Istanbul bridge.