ECONOMY

WB approves 4-year program for Turkey

WASHINGTON – The World Bank late on Thursday approved a four-year $6.2 billion financing program for Turkey, which hopes to join the European Union before 2015. «The strategy anticipates World Bank financing for programs of the Turkish government, or guaranteed by the government, for up to $6.2 billion during the four-year period,» the World Bank said in a statement. In addition, the financing, which will cover 2008 through 2011, also covers financing for World Bank-backed private-sector projects and guarantees. «Turkey has the opportunity to build on the successful economic development over the past six years and to become one of the most advanced economies and societies in the world,» said Ulrich Zachau, the bank’s country director to Turkey. «Turkey aims to achieve continued rapid economic growth with equity, and the Bank Group will seek to mobilize the best available technical expertise, international experience, and competitive financing to support Turkey in achieving this goal,» he added. Turkey’s economy has grown at an average 7 percent in recent years and annual inflation has fallen to single figures from as high as triple digits in the 1990s, while foreign investment has poured into the country ahead of possible EU membership.