More investors ‘ready to back energy infrastructure projects in Turkey’

Out-Law News | 18 Nov 2014 | 9:54 am | 1 min. read

Turkey’s government has been urged to reach out to investors “who are ready to invest” in a range of infrastructure projects and in renewable energy systems in particular.

The president and chief executive officer of General Electric’s Middle East, North Africa and Turkey (MENAT) region Nabil Habayeb told the Hürriyet Daily News: “Turkey still has a lot of potential to grow, for instance in energy, especially in renewable energy. The government should know that investors should be attracted to finance these projects.”

Habayeb said: “There are many people who are looking forward to the start of such projects. People will keep coming to Turkey as long as they know their investments are safe and profitable.”

According to General Electric’s ‘Mapping the future of work in MENAT’ report (28-page / 7.75 MB PDF), Turkey and Algeria stand out “among the most innovation-ready countries” in the region.

However, the report said: “Governments will have to turn from being producers and employers to being consumers and enablers. They will need to bolster the necessary infrastructure, notably in terms of communication and data networks, transportation, and energy distribution.”

The report cited General Electric’s 2014 ‘Global Innovation Barometer’, which surveyed senior executives “actively involved in their companies’ innovation strategy” across 26 countries. The barometer said “Algeria, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia rank among the top eight countries that have seen an increase in revenues and profits generated by collaborative innovation activities, and the share of respondents acknowledging such an increase was extremely high at 70-80% in each country.”

Earlier this year, the World Bank approved a loan equivalent to $500 million for Turkey to support initiatives including “creating a regulatory framework to attract long-term, quality investment in the country’s infrastructure”.

The bank said the loan programme also aims to encourage the licensing “of at least one private sector freight operator” on Turkish railways. According to the bank, Turkey’s “ambitious privatisation path”, that began in 1984 with the country’s first law on privatisation, has led to a “drastic reduction” in the number of state-owned enterprises.