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Historic Summit in Cyprus Representatives of business circles from Turkey, Greece, South Cyprus and TRNC convened in Cyprus.
Haber resmi
02/06/2014 - Viewed 1112 times

NICOSIA – Heads of business organizations of Turkey, Greece, South Cyprus and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) convened in Cyprus for the first time since 1974. The participants decided to establish the Nicosia Economic Forum. TOBB President Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that TEPAV would carry out the secretariat works of the dialogue mechanism for business circles that will progress with frequent contact.

Upon the joint invite of the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KEBE) and the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce (KTTO), a historic meeting was held on 2 June 2014 in the United Nations buffer zone in Cyprus. The meeting was attended by TOBB President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, the Union of Hellenic Chambers President Constantine Michalos, the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce Phidias Pilides, TRNC Chamber of Commerce President Fikri Toros, TEPAV Managing Director Güven Sak and businessmen accompanying them.

Speaking during the second session following the opening remarks of chamber presidents, Güven Sak said that Cypriots were not able to make long-term plans due to the deadlock on the island. Citing a Eurobarometer survey which revealed that 37% percent of EU-27 residents were not able to make plans for the future whereas the rates were 66% and 61% respectively among Turkish and Greek Cypriots, Sak stressed that it was necessary to overcome the conditions that prevent people from planning their lives with a medium- and long-term perspective.

During the meeting, all parties declared that the status quo on the island was unacceptable and that the business world should fully support the negotiation process so as to help politicians to take hard decisions.

In the third and the final session of the meeting, Hisarcıklıoğlu stressed that frozen conflicts cannot be solved overnight and in this context accentuated the importance of solution-oriented cooperation and dialogue mechanisms initiated by private sector. Reminding that businesspeople were excluded from the process previous rounds of negotiations, he claimed that this had an important role in the failure of negotiations so far. Hisarcıkloğlu said that the private sector could contribute to a sustainable solution on the island by designing and implementing concrete projects aimed at solving the problems Cypriots encounter during their everyday lives.

The parties decided to establish the Nicosia Economic Forum to design and implement projects on the island. In addition, it was agreed to hold the second meeting of the Forum on Sunday, 14 September in Istanbul. In the meanwhile, the parties will prepare and propose ideas for private sector driven initiatives, which will be submitted for joint review and deliberation at the Istanbul meeting. Finally, secretariat organizations which will maintain contact between parties were decided. TOBB President Başkanı Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that TEPAV was going to carry out the secretariat works for the Turkish side.

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