Istanbul’s case for becoming a global financial hub under the spotlight

Istanbul’s campaign to become a leading financial hub in the world was reiterated this month when the Turkey’s finance minister, Mehmet Simsek confirmed that the country aimed to be among the top-three performing economies in Europe within a decade and one of the top 10 in the world within the next few decades.

Meanwhile, in support of this, the Governor of Turkey’s Central Bank, Erdem Basci, said this week that GDP growth in the country is approximately four per cent, and was 4.3 per cent in the first quarter of this year, which was above expectations.

The country’s industrial production rose by a solid 4.6 per cent in April over a year earlier, thanks to the strong performance of the manufacturing sector, driven by increasing demand from Turkey’s main export market, Europe.

In addition, Turkey’s strengthening banking system, which unlike its European neighbours, survived Europe’s 2009 crisis without any bail-outs, was commended by Simsek at a special panel forming part of the Future Cities Forum and entitled 'Mega Cities & Financial Capitals’.

Istanbul was ranked as the 47th biggest financial centre globally in March this year, after climbing up from the bottom of the list when the incumbent government took power.

Istanbul’s mushrooming status as a financial hub is good news for the property sector there, with the city’s growing suburbs attracting a growing middle class of white collar workers and international investors.

Istanbul’s new finance centre, which includes 1,500 homes and 200 commercial units, is currently under construction at a complete cost of $4.5-$5 billion. It is being built at Ataşehir, on the Asian side of the city.

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