Ziraat Bankasi Opens Branch in Jeddah

Image JEDDAH: With the opening of the branch of a leading Turkish bank in Jeddah, trade and commerce between Turkey and Saudi Arabia will reach new heights, said Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan here on Saturday.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of Ziraat Bankasi's first branch in Rowadah district, Erdogan said, “It will further enhance cooperation between Turkey and the Kingdom in the fields of development, agriculture and construction. It has added a new chapter in our ties with Saudi Arabia. It will also immensely help thousands of Turkish pilgrims who come to the Kingdom for Haj and Umrah,” he added.

A large number of Saudi businessmen, officials and Turkish community members witnessed the glittering opening ceremony and lauded Erdogan for his efforts to boost Saudi-Turkish ties.
Saleh Kamel, a leading Saudi businessman and chairman of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry who attended the function, called it “an important moment.”

“I am really happy and overwhelmed with the opening of this leading Turkish bank’s branch. I thank Premier Erdogan for doing something practical and concrete, that too before, addressing the Jeddah Economic Forum (JEF). It will certainly boost Saudi-Turkish trade as well as bilateral relations.”

Erdogan, accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan, arrived in the Kingdom on Friday to attend the forum. He is also expected to meet Saudi businessmen.

Ziraat Bankası, which is Turkey's leading public bank, also plans to install automatic teller machines (ATMs) in Makkah and Madinah to assist Turkish pilgrims and businesspeople, a bank official said. Nearly 100,000 Turkish nationals visit the Kingdom on Haj and Umrah each year.

According to sources, the bank is working on a project to enable Turkish pilgrims as well as businesspeople to draw money in Saudi riyals from their Turkish lira accounts. During their stay in the country, pilgrims will be able to use special bankcards, eliminating their need to carry large amounts of cash.

There will be around 40 Ziraat ATMs throughout Makkah and Madinah, which the bank hopes will ease the minds of those concerned about carrying cash during the crowded pilgrimage season, a bank official said.

The bank also plans to expand its operation into other Saudi cities by opening new branches, a senior official at Ziraat Bankası said.

The bank secured permission to open a branch in Jeddah two years ago. But it recently completed preparatory work for the opening of its first branch and after a final inspection of the branch by the central banking authority of Saudi Arabia, it opened on Saturday, the official said. Source: arabnews.com
Last modified onSaturday, 06 May 2017 10:07