EBRD head says expects nod for Turkey application in October

Int’l Relations

Shareholders of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) are likely to approve Turkey’s application to benefit from the development bank’s investments, the EBRD’s new head said on late Tuesday.

“I would not dare to give a forecast on whether it would be a unanimous decision but I expect a ‘yes’ decision (on Turkey),” Thomas Mirow, who took over as president of the development bank in July, told reporters at a briefing. The EBRD’s 63 members, including Turkey itself, are expected to vote on the application in October. If the application is approved, the EBRD will begin operations in Turkey next year. “It would start with a modest (investment) sum being raised gradually,” Mirow said.

The EBRD was set up in 1991 to help the former communist countries of eastern Europe make the transition to market economies by fostering private sector investment. But since many of the countries have made the transition to market status, the bank has shifted its focus south and east, ushering in Mongolia into its countries of operation in 2006.

The bank has already ceased investing in the Czech Republic and will stop investing by 2010 in the seven other former communist countries which joined the European Union in 2004 -- Poland, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Slovenia. (Reuters)

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