As published on dailysabah.com, Tuesday November 26, 2019.
Turkey's Presidential Finance Office has initiated contact with global players in Malaysia, regarded as the center of Islamic finance, and digital financial center Singapore to attract international funds to Turkey.
Representatives from the finance office met with leading economic and financial institutions in Singapore and Malaysia last week to raise international interest in Turkey as part of the new strategy and create contacts for the Istanbul Financial Center (IFC) project, reports in Turkish media said yesterday.
Göksel Aşan, head of the finance office, held talks with the Securities Commission in Malaysia, one of the most important actors in Islamic finance; Malaysia's central bank, Bank Negara Malaysia; Permodalan Nasional Berhad Bank (PNB); Maybank Islamic Public Limited Company; Malaysia's stock exchange Bursa Malaysia; CIMB Islamic Bank; Khazanah Nasional; International Islamic Liquidity Management Corporation; Saturna Capital Corporation; and Investment Account Platform.
During the talks, opportunities for financial cooperation between Turkey and Malaysia, representatives to be opened mutually, investment potential, drawing savings and capital in Islamic finance to Turkey, the participation of Malaysian investors in the IFC project and joint initiatives in third countries were discussed. It was also emphasized that Malaysia could be an important partner for the IFC, while the investment incentives in Turkey were explained in detail.
The IFC project, which started in 2009, is currently being developed in Istanbul's Ataşehir district and has been designed to be one of the world's major financial centers. This landmark government project aims to build a larger financial center than existing ones in New York, London and Dubai and make Istanbul a center of international finance.
The IFC project is expected to be completed at the end of 2021 or at the beginning of 2022.
When completed, the project will employ around 30,000 people. Constructed on an area of some 2.5 million square meters, the IFC will have 560,000 square meters of office space, 90,000 square meters of shopping space, 70,000 square meters of hotel, 60,000 square meters of residential space and a culture and congress center with a capacity to seat 2,000.
On the sidelines of the Singapore visit, finance office officials met with Singapore's central bank, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, Singapore's sovereign wealth fund GIC Private Limited, the Economic Development Board (EDB), Singapore Exchange Ltd. (SGX), and the Institute of Banking and Finance (IBF).
During the meetings, Singaporean investors were informed about the cooperation opportunities in the IFC and the investment potential in Turkey.
Singapore investors with a billion-dollar capital were briefed on topics such as the IFC's potential as a regional hub, Turkey's dynamic business environment, the banking system/participation banking, and economic opportunities.
Meanwhile, the office recently initiated economic diplomacy in the Far East and Gulf countries, particularly in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, to discuss and explain opportunities Turkey, and particularly Istanbul, offer to foreign investors.
Istanbul climbed six places and ranked 53th in the Global Financial Centers Index (GFCI), published by London-based Z/Yen Partners in collaboration with the China Development Institute in September.
The index provides evaluations of future competitiveness and rankings for 104 major financial centers around the world.