Japan’s SMBC signs cooperation agreement with ISPAT

Dünya – Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. (SMBC) of Japan, one of the Japanese financial institutions seeking to expand its operations in Turkey, has signed a cooperation agreement with Turkey’s official investment agency. The agreement signed between SMBC and the Investment Support and Promotion Agency of Turkey (ISPAT) aims to further promote business exchange between Turkey and Japan.

Having opened a representative office in Turkey early this year, SMBC provides finance for Turkey’s large scale infrastructure projects like the Eurasia Tunnel Project, an undersea motorway tunnel linking Istanbul’s European and Asian sides. Speaking at the press event, SMBC Europe CEO, Hiroyuki Iwami, noted that financing infrastructure projects would gain greater importance next year.

“We see Turkey as a key gateway to surrounding markets and a strategic marketing office…” SMBC executive remarked.

Commenting on the agreement, ISPAT President Ilker Ayci said that the cooperation between ISPAT and SMC would increase Turkey’s share in receiving strategic investments with high added-value from Japan.

There are more than 140 Japanese companies active in Turkey and the number is expected to rise as Japanese companies increasingly look to overseas markets for growth. Turkey’s strong fundamentals including a young population, large domestic market, financial stability and key geostrategic location make the country stand out as a regional investment hub.

As a sign of strengthening business ties between the two countries in recent months, two other lenders from the Asian nation, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (BTMU) and Mizuho Corporate Bank, either applied for a banking license or opened a representative office in Turkey, both with the assistance of ISPAT.

Bilateral trade between Turkey and Japan reached USD 4.3 billion in 2011.

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