Italy’s export credit agency Sace has recognised the substantial role that Turkey plays in its portfolio by opening an Istanbul office.

The agency’s exposure to Turkey has reached €2.4bn, making the country the second most active foreign state in Sace’s books after Russia.

The office will be headed up by Marco Ferioli, a Sace veteran who most recently worked from the firm’s Milan office with major Italian corporates that had substantial business lines with Turkey.

Ferioli has also held senior positions with ENI group and the Pirelli group.

Furthermore, Turkey’s strategic position as the gateway to the Middle East is something that Sace are hoping to capitalise on as Michel Ron, head of Sace international relations and network, explains: “The presence of a permanent Sace representation in Istanbul will improve our reach and our effectiveness in assisting Italian exporters and their local partners in the area.”

“[Sace will build] on the cooperation agreement with, among others, the Investment Support and Promotion Agency of Turkey and with the Trade Bank of Iraq.”

Sace has also revealed that it is already working on a €1.5bn pipeline of new projects in the energy, transportation, oil and gas, chemical and petrochemical sectors.