Ankara, December 21, 2006- Mr. Shigeo Katsu, Vice-President for the Europe and Central Asia Region of the World Bank visited Turkey on December 20-21, to review Turkey’s economic program and discuss World Bank assistance to the country. Mr. Katsu was accompanied by Mr. Ulrich Zachau, the newly appointed Country Director for Turkey whose assignment begins on January 15, 2007.
During his visit in Ankara Mr. Katsu met with Minister of State Ali Babacan; Minister of Finance Kemal Unakıtan; Central Bank Governor Durmuş Yılmaz; Undersecretary of Undersecretariat of Treasury Ibrahim Çanakçı and Undersecretary of Undersecretariat of State Planning Organization Ahmet Tıktık. Mr. Katsu also met with a group of Parliamentarians and a group of economic researchers.
Mr. Katsu’s visit focused on the review of economic and social developments; the Government’s program for 2007 and ongoing and future Bank assistance to Turkey.
During his discussions Mr. Katsu noted with satisfaction the continuation of macroeconomic stability and the strong fiscal performance. He also congratulated the Turkish authorities on the excellent privatization performance and the upsurge of foreign direct investment over the past two years.
Mr. Katsu exchanged views with the Turkish authorities on the resilience of the economy and the quality of fiscal adjustment. He also noted the importance of continued prudent fiscal management, the completion of the privatization of Halkbank, adoption of the mortgage law and further progress in improving the flexibility of the labor market. He expressed his hope that the reform momentum will continue notwithstanding Turkey’s political calendar. In noting the importance of implementing the social security reform in a fair and fiscally sustainable manner, Mr. Katsu reaffirmed World Bank’s support i the implementation of this reform.
Mr. Katsu also expressed the World Bank’s continued strong support for helping to improve the quality of life of the Turkish people and for Turkey’s efforts in joining with the EU.