Ambassador’s Statement at the Conference Titled "Turkey-UK Partnership in Financial Services"

Abburrahman Bilgiç 18.02.2016

Distinguished representatives of Turkish and British
financial sector,

Ladies and Gentleman,

Let me begin by extending my
appreciation to British Embassy in Ankara, Foreign and Commonwealth Office and UKTI
for the organization of this meaningful and timely event.

and the UK, who share similar views on regional and international matters, are
very well-suited partners for strategic cooperation.
I am pleased to underline that bilateral relationship
between Turkey and UK is strong. Regular
high level visits and contacts between two countries stand testament to the
presence of well-established relations. There is every reason to believe that
relationship between Turkey and the UK will become even stronger in the years
ahead. And finance is one of the key areas which promises vast opportunities
for strengthening our bilateral cooperation.

Before mentioning the
prospects for further financial cooperation, let me briefly comment on the current
situation of the global economy. The mood in the global markets reflects a
sharp turnaround in the Dollar, continued low oil prices, weakness in equity
markets, a squeeze in global liquidity, and concerns about China’s economic
performance. These conditions are accompanied by a suspicion that many banks in
Europe could face certain credit problems. Current fluctuations in the global
economy make financial cooperation between our countries more important than
ever, as partnerships in the financial sector are source of global financial
stability. Moreover, we should always keep in mind that the biggest global
crises result from the break-down of the financial systems and public finances.
Therefore, it is vital to have a strong financial ecosystem that can support
the real economy.

As you know, we have the
project to position Istanbul as an international financial center. Success of
this project will certainly benefit both Turkey and the UK. The onus on us is to make use of the
opportunities for cooperation ranging from insurance and asset management to
participatory finance through strong partnership between our countries.

Turkey is going through a
period of comprehensive economic and financial reform. These timely reforms ensured
Borsa Istanbul to improve its standing in the International Financial Centres
Index. In essence, Borsa Istanbul
is one of the most
important actors of the Istanbul International Financial Center project. I am extremly
pleased to underline that Borsa Istanbul is opening to new markets and
diversifying its instruments.

Thanks to a decade of sound
macroeconomic policies and structural reforms, Turkey has a sound banking
sector and balanced public finances. Turkey already took
significant steps to restructure and rehabilitate its banking sector, to
boost its economic competitiveness, and to put its fiscal balance on a sound
and sustainable path.

It goes without saying that a
particular importance is being attached to increasing the global footprint in
the Turkish financial services industry. In this vein, the UK stands a
well-suited partner to have comprehensive cooperation in the financial services

The Turkish insurance sector
has a dynamic character, and it is developing at an impressive rate. Our Government’s incentives to encourage savings
and use of insurance have certainly helped the sector to grow. Today, the
insurance sector is a highly popular area of investment for foreign companies. I
am confident that we will tap into the full potential of this sector through

Now, let me shortly mention participatory finance in
Turkey. As you know, interest
free-banking lies at the heart of the participatory finance. Participatory
finance in Turkey continues to develop since 1985. The share of funds in this type
of banking accounts for the %6 of the all funds in the banking sector.

I know that the UK would like to cement its position
as the Western hub for participatory finance. The UK has already created one of
the most attractive regulatory and tax systems for participatory finance in the
world, and the UK’s sovereign Sukuk was a significant milestone in the
development of the participatory finance

At the same time, participatory
capital markets are dispersed and fragmented globally. Therefore, it is
important to establish networks between these markets to increase
profitability. Yet the good news is that this sector comes to the forefront as
an important area of cooperation between our countries.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Turkey, attracting attention from around the world,
has been at the heart of commercial and financial relations between the East and
the West throughout history.
strategic location has fostered Turkey’s commercial and financial ties over the
Now, the target for Turkey is to rank among the top 10 economies by
This is the year when Turkey will celebrate the centenary of the proclamation of the Republic.

Turkey is determined to
reach a GDP of 2 trillion Dollars, and an export volume of 500 billion Dollars
by 2023. Furthermore,
Turkey aims
to transform its economy into a high value added and knowledge-based hi-tech
It is obvious that turning Istanbul into an
international financial centre will be crucial in reaching our 2023 targets.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Istanbul, with its unique
geographical location and strategic advantages such as rich resources,
proximity to important markets, young population, competitive and diversified
sectors, has a potential to become a real financial attraction point. And London
will most definitely will be a main partner of Istanbul along this journey.

In conclusion, we believe that
Turkey’s recent economic performance, and the determination of Turkish
authorities to further uphold the Turkish economy with well-framed economic
strategies, continue to give strong assurances of Turkey’s economic and
commercial partners. I hope that the financial and economic cooperation between
our two countries will continue to develop in the period ahead, with valuable
contributions from our British friends.

Thank you.


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