Banks Intesa Sanpaolo and ING have issued a €100mn loan for the development of the İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IMM) in Turkey.

The loan is backed by Italian export credit agency Sace, to help support Italian exports for the project.

The credit line will help finance the IMM’s €2.75bn investment plan for infrastructural works in the city of İstanbul, including the construction of the Eminönü-Alibeyköy tram line.

The initiative is the first in Sace’s “push strategy”, designed to support and strengthen the competitiveness of Italian exports to selected foreign buyers.

In order to facilitate Italian exporters winning projects, Sace will organise meetings between the management of IMM and Italian exporters, particularly SMEs, interested in working with the Turkish counterparty.

Turkey is a priority market for Italian exports, which reached €9.6bn in 2016 and, according to Sace, are projected to grow an average 3.8% per year to 2020.

Sace set up a presence in Istanbul in 2010 as a hub to for Central and Eastern Europe and neighbouring countries such as Iraq, Syria, Greece, Cyprus, Lebanon, Israel and Jordan.