Istanbul 2020: World Bank confirms strength of Turkish economy
LAURA WALDEN / Sports Features Communications
(SFC) A senior official at the World Bank praised Turkey's economic performance in these past years giving a boost to the nation’s economic outlook and reinforcing the bid.
Martin Raiser, the country director for Turkey at the World Bank, spoke in Washington this past week affirming that Turkey has been performing wonderfully since the latest global economic crisis. He also feels that that the country is likely to reach high-income status within the next three years because of its young demographic.
Their desire to host the Games would set off a huge rise in mass sport participation, particularly among the Turkey's 31 million people under the age of 25. This vision emerges from a stellar decade of economic history.
Raiser said, "Social inclusion is increasing in Turkey mainly thanks to the spread of economic activities." He was speaking at an event organized by the Turkish Industry & Business Association (TÜSİAD), Koç University and the Economic Research Foundation (ERF) where he highlighted that the significant investment in infrastructure and public services that has been made has energised Turkey's substantial economic growth.
Speaking from the Sport For All Congress, Hasan Arat, Chairman of Istanbul 2020, was thrilled at the news. He said,"This is a welcome endorsement from the World Bank in that it supports the message that we are explaining to the Olympic Movement.
“Turkey's financial strength ensures that Istanbul 2020 is in a position to deliver a technically excellent Games which will realise the potential of Turkey and the surrounding region's young people. The government is investing $2.5 billion in 693 sports facilities and 25 new stadia as well as $500 million annually into sports participation and development programmes, regardless of whether Istanbul are awarded the Games.
“This investment will engage the entire nation, making sport more accessible to Turkey's 31 million young people under the age of 25."
Ugur Erdener, IOC member and President of the NOC of Turkey, noted on the investment in facilities, "The huge investment into sports infrastructure will benefit all levels of sport participation in Turkey. The National Olympic Training Centre, which is being built this year regardless of the bid outcome, will serve as both an elite and recreational sport resource.
“The Olympic City will serve 600,000 people as a "live, work, play" community. These world-class facilities will create a generation of opportunities for the region's young people to participate in sport from grass roots, through to elite level."
Istanbul is bidding against Tokyo and Madrid to host the summer Games and the final decision will be taken on September 7th at the IOC session in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
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