Turkey's Eximbank aims to expand its financial support for exporter firms, reaching 100,000 firms and the Credit Guarantee Fund plans to provide credit guarantees for exporters that are not categorized as small and medium exporters


Exporters of apparel, textile, leather and carpet products, under the umbrella of the Istanbul Textile and Apparel Exporters Association (İTKİB), recently held a discussion with the general manager of Eximbank, Adnan Yıldırım and the general manager of Credit Guarantee Fund (CGF), İsmet Gergerli, regarding the sector's financing needs and solutions.

Speaking at the discussion, Yıldırım explained what and how developments have taken place since the establishment of the bank, noting that their general directorates were located in Istanbul while the regional directorates were based in Ankara and Izmir.

Yıldırım said the bank has provided more than $33 billion of support to the exporters in 2016, including $22 billion in loans and $11 billion in insurance. Noting that almost 22.7 percent of Turkey's exports were supported last year, Yıldırım said that their target this year was $40 billion, almost 26 percent of Turkey's total exports.

"After South Korea, we are the second largest export-import company in the world that provides support to exporters. We now aim to outdo South Korea and become the biggest supporter of exporters in the world," Yıldırım said.

He stated that Eximbank has worked with more than 6,400 exporting companies, with regards to credit support and another 2,404 in insurance, but there are companies to which the bank provides both insurance and credit support and it works with some 7,700 exporters in total.

"We have 65,000 exporters and contractor-related companies operating in foreign exchange earning fields in our target group. We want to reach approximately 100,000 companies, including 65,000 exporters, we want to provide support," Yıldırım said.

Eximbank to start credit rating

Confirming that Eximbank has not issued credit ratings to date, its general manager announced that the bank will start to build its own rating system and eventually Issue credit in accordance to the system, before the end of the year.

Noting that they have provided $8.1 billion worth resources from international markets, Yıldırım said they wanted to increase that amount by 10 percent in parallel with the bank growth this year.

"In the meantime, we will commission new elements of Islamic finance, like "sukuk," (bonds in compliance with Islamic finance law). So, we have planned to increase this resource a little more this year and it is going well," he said.

Yıldırım added that, as Turkey's Eximbank, they wanted to develop relations with other banks of similar nature around the world, and suggested that it was possible to finance a project with more than one eximbank in exports or foreign projects, adding that they have signed related agreements with the U.S. and Russian-Kyrgyz fund, and that they will sign it with Italy on Feb. 22.

"There are some deals that we discussed during the meeting on exim banks earlier this month, but they could not be finalized. We have focused on them, and we want to complete them in the first half of this year with several countries, such as Britain and Belgium," Yıldırım noted.

Non-SME exporters to benefit from CGF

Speaking at the discussion with the İTKİB, the Credit Guarantee Fund's General Manager İsmet Gergerli said the real sector and the finance sector should co-operate to ensure Turkey's growth, and noted that the CGF takes steps to that end.

Gergerli affirmed that their main purpose was to ensure Turkey produces more, provides employment and sell what it produces.

Recalling that CGF was set up just to support micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the country, today, it is turning into a structure from which not only SMEs, but also large companies benefit. "We have just started talking about the importance of non-SME exporters for the system. Only 11 percent of exporters are SMEs, while the remaining 89 percent are non-SMEs," Gergerli said. It is not possible to finance exports and foreign exchange earning activities by focusing only on SMEs, Gergerli noted, "We believe that not only SMEs but also non-SMEs should be more active in this system, and we want to support them as well."

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