International Technology Bank to launch operations this year

The International Technology Bank, which aims to strengthen science, technology and innovation capacities in the least developed countries, will launch operations this year in Turkey, Science, Industry and Technology Minister Faruk Özlü said. Özlü said that a United Nations delegation has come to Turkey to evaluate preparations of the International Technology Bank site to be established in Gebze.

Explaining that a host country agreement between Turkey and the U.N. will be prepared and signed, Özlü said that following the signing, employees and office space in Gebze will be determined and the International Technology Bank will launch operations this year.

Özlü told Anadolu Agency (AA) that the International Technology Bank in Turkey is being established under the leadership of the U.N. in coordination with the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBİTAK).

Recalling that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan previously announced a commitment package at the United Nations Conference on Least Developed Countries in 2011 when he was still prime minister, Özlü said that one of the commitments in science and technology fields in the country is the establishment of an international hub that will take over the role of the technology bank for least developed countries.

Özlü said that a high-level expert panel was set up to provide consultancy and suggestions during the establishment process of the bank and that evaluation conferences were held. Recalling that the proposals for the operation and structuring of bank were presented and that it was recommended the bank be established in Turkey during the meetings, Özlü said that it was decided at the 70th U.N. General Assembly that the International Technology Bank be established in Gebze.

Bank employees to be determinedÖzlü said that the U.N. delegation visited the Science, Industry and Technology Ministry, adding that the issues of the host country agreement as well as financial, aid in kind agreement were discussed.

Özlü pointed out that the U.N. delegation will go to the U.S. after Turkey, adding that the host country agreement between Turkey and the U.N. will be prepared and signed afterward. “The signing is expected to be held this month. After the signing, office space and employees in Gebze will be determined and this year the International Technology Bank will launch its activities,” Özlü said.

Stressing that Turkey has pledged its full support for the International Technology Bank project, Özlü said that financing is voluntary, informing that the donor country, Turkey, will provide financial support of $2 million annually for the first five years and that following the establishment, many U.N. member countries, as well as world-famous technology companies, are expected to support the bank.

Özlü underlined that when the International Technology Bank commences operations, need analysis will be carried out for the least developed countries and service will be provided in line with the shortcomings. Indicating that the countries will be given training and support on the establishment of governance mechanisms and the development and implementation of science and technology policies, Özlü added that they wish Turkey to contribute to the efforts in reducing income disparities in the world and the great differences in development levels.