"2nd Regional Economic Cooperation between Greece & Turkey"
15. January 2011. | 10:48 21:55
Author: Nikos D. A. Arvanites
The Union of Hellenic Chambers (KEEE) in collaboration with the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB), the Commercial & Industrial Chamber of Rodopi, the Chamber of Professionals and Handicrafts of Rodopi, the Chamber of Edirne and the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK), would like to invite you to the 2nd Regional Business Forum entitled "Regional Economic Cooperation between Greece & Turkey", which will take place on 14-15 January 2011, at Arcadia Hotel, in Komotini, Greece.
The 2nd Regional Business Forum is strategically placed to answer questions critical to the Industries of Tourism, Food, Furniture, Construction Materials, Tourism, Transportation and Services amidst the tight economic situation experience by the majority of the companies in the region.
Following the success of the 1st Regional Business Forum Greece and Turkey plan to continue the promotion of trade and business among participating companies from the two bordering countries. Presentations, discussions and most importantly B2B meetings will foster trade and development between Greece and Turkey.
This forum is important for all industries dealing with or being interested in developing business with Turkish and Greek counterparts respectively. Early participation will maximise exposure and business meetings requested from companies of the neighbouring countries.
The first Turkish-Greek Business Forum was held in Thessaloniki, Greece last December.
Speaking at the opening of the forum, chairperson Selim Egeli of Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey (DEIK) said that political ties between Turkey and Greece had gained a sustainable stability lately and such development provided great economic and commercial opportunities for both countries.
Egeli said Turkish and Greek governments' determination to overcome the existing problems between Turkey and Greece was the biggest assurance for the future of the two countries' economic relations.
"We need to get to know each other better. We should come together more and create the necessary business platforms for our investors," Egeli noted.
Moreover, Jannot Apikyan, the head of Greek-Turkish Chamber of Commerce of Northern Greece, said that Turkey and Greece, which were two neighboring countries, had remarkable opportunities to improve their economic cooperation.
Apikyan said it would be more advantageous if the two countries strengthened their economic ties instead of competing with each other.
Apikyan also noted that Greek companies could freely carry out activities in Turkey, adding Turkish investors in Greece should also be provided with similar facilities.
Greek government spokesman George Petalotis and Turkish industry and trade minister Nihat Ergun said that Greece and Turkey have the opportunity to further develop cooperation if they rid themselves of the remnants of the past and overcome past prejudices, in their addresses at a Greek-Turkish regional economic forum taking place in Komotini.
Addressing the forum on Friday night, Petalotis said that "Erzurum shows the way and the road to ridding ourselves of any remnants of suspicion", referring to Greek prime minister George Papandreou's recent visit to the Turkish city, where he met with Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan and addressed the annual session of Turkey's ambassadors abroad.
Ergun, also addressing the forum on Friday night, said that Greece and Turkey, "two neighboring countries", do not have the "luxury of returning to problems of the past", and urged Turkish entrepreneurs to make more investments in Greece.
Greek-Turkish Chamber president Panagiotis Koutsikos noted that Greek investments in Turkey were estimated at 6.2 billion euros, while Rifat Hisarciklioglu, Chairman of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB), stressed that the development of trade relations between the two countries is a "one-way street", since "we are doomed to be partners".
The forum was attended by 350 Greek and Turkish businessmen.