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The commercial relations between Greece and Turkey – a bridge for solving the political differences

27 February 2010 / 10:02:44  GRReporter
4213 reads

Victoria Mindova

The commercial exchange between Greece and Turkey for 2009 exceeded three billion euro. Due to the spread of the international economic crisis the commercial exchange between the two countries has registered a decrease compared to 2008 when its amount was 3,6 billion euro. The expectations for 2010 is that it will even reach four billion euro having in mind that Turkey passed through the financial crisis much faster that the rest of the European countries. Currently on the Turkish market there are over 320 Greek companies, 260 of which are based in Istanbul, other 40 in Izmir and the rest are spread within the country. The information was presented by Panagiotis Koutsikos, chairman of the Greek – Turkish chamber of commerce, which is actively helping for the development of the commercial relationships between the Balkan counties. The speech was held at the Greek-Turkish forum “Greece and Turkey in the 21st century” organized by the Research center for public research in Athens.

“The world and Europe are changing. Turkey is also changing and the evidence for this is the acceptance of application for membership in the European Union. We have the power, the resources and the good will to support Europe in the improvement of its competitiveness compared to the new powerful markets of China, India and the countries of South America,” said Vulkan Vural, a member of the board of directors of the Turkish business-industrial association. Vural stressed on the fact that Turkey has passed through many economic crisis for most of which it has been responsible. During the past decades the low productivity, the high deficit and the lack of transparency and strategy for decreasing the unemployment have had catastrophic results for the economy of the country. He directed the attention of the audience however towards the last financial crisis in the middle of 2001. Then the political government of Turkey undertook drastic measures to avoid the financial collapse. Turkey made cuts in the expenses of the public sector and introduced new restrictive measures for the rehabilitation of the normal economic rhythm of the country. The strict financial policy introduced at that time gave good results and for the period between 2002 and 2007 the country registers a 7% positive economic growth. Vulkan Vural underlined that the stabilization of the local economy in this period has helped Turkey to meet much easier the world economic crisis which started at the end of 2008.

The Turkish businessmen expressed their hopes that the extending of the commercial relations between the two countries will help for the solving of the political differences between Turkey and Greece. The chairman of the Turkish-Greek business chamber Semi Egeli stated that “the years of antagonism, mistrust and problems are in the past and the two nations have to look at the future. We have to be good neighbors and good partners, which gives us one of the main reasons to find a solution to our common problems.”

At the international forum spoke also the Minister of national defense Evagelos Venizelos. He stated that Greece is following the development of Turkey and the positive changes which they have achieved in the past few years. He expressed th explicit support of Greece for the entering in the European Union of Turkey and said he is very positive that “the two countries will seek a common way for solving the political and territorial differences which arose in the past.”

Tags: PoliticsEconomyMarkets
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