19 Nisan 2011 Salı

Italian agency offers loans to Turkish firms to boost trade

SACE, an Italian agency targeting to boost exports, has launched a credit program for Turkish investors to support mutual trade. The program is providing loans for infrastructure, oil and gas refinery and distribution projects mainly, Marco Ferioli, head of the agency says. Italian Central Bank, meanwhile, has opened an Istanbul branch
'For Turkish firms to benefit from the loans, they need to have an Italian trade partner or an Italian firm to invest with,' says Marco Ferioli of SACE.

'For Turkish firms to benefit from the loans, they need to have an Italian trade partner or an Italian firm to invest with,' says Marco Ferioli of SACE.
An Italian export promotion agency aims to boost its exports to Turkey by allocating credits to domestic companies valuing $2.5 billion in total, said the Istanbul chief of the agency.
The credits are donated on condition that the Turkish borrowers partner with Italian firms, importing materials for Italy in general means, Marco Ferioli, head of SACE Turkey and Middle East, told the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review.
“Turkish companies could benefit from the credits for new investments with Italian firms,” he said speaking at the sidelines of Turkish-Italian Business Council meeting organized by Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey, or DEİK, in Istanbul.

Italian firms attach a great importance to Turkey, Ferioli said. “To benefit from the loans, the firms need to have an Italian trade partner or an Italian firm to invest with.”

Noting that today’s competitive market conditions require greater financial stability than ever, Ferioli said SACE’s credit insurance policies covered guarantees against poor or non-payment cases.
The main aim of the implementation was to promote Italian exports, he added.

“We are interested in investments in infrastructure, oil and gas refinery and distribution projects,” he said.
Meanwhile, Astaldi, an Italian construction firm, has recently won the right to construct a 421-kilometer motorway to connect northwestern industrial province of Gebze, with İzmir, the third biggest city in the country in the east, Ferioli said. The 7-year project, which was launched earlier in January, will cost nearly $9 billion, he said.

The SACE provided loans for the project, Ferioli told the Daily News. “We are interested in funding such infrastructure projects.”

Foster Wheeler, another Italian company signed contracts with Socer & Turcas Refinery for a new refinery in İzmir, he added.

The new facility to be built in the Aliağa zone, where Petkim, the joint venture’s chemicals facility is located, will have a total capacity of 214,000 barrels per stream day, according a report by Gasworld magazine. “We have also financially supported this investment,” Ferioli said, without mentioning an exact value of the investment.

Italian Central Bank in Turkey

Evaluating investment conditions in Turkey for the Daily News, Giorgio Merlonghi, the financial attache of the Italian Central Bank, said, “Turkey is a tremendously well-developed country with a strong banking system.”
The Italian Central Bank has recently opened a representation office in Istanbul, he said. “This shows how much important Turkey for Italian interest.”

Talking on the economic performance of Turkish Central Bank during the crisis, Ferioli said, “We were impressed with the Central Bank’s attitude and we are closely observing the monetary policies of the bank.”
“We are aiming to join forces for investments in third countries, especially in Northern Iraq,” said Zeynep Bodur Okyay, chairperson of Turkish-Italian Business Council. Okyay said the number of Italian firms in Turkey reached 870 as of the end of last year, up from 106 in 2006.

The bilateral trade volume between Italy and Turkey hit $16.7 billion by the end of last year. “We aim to reach $20 billion,” said Okyay.

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