By Emre Diner, July 9, 2015, published in Daily Sabah


Greek Cypriot President Anastasiades (L) and Turkish Cypriot President Akıncı (R) shake hands at a meeting attended by representatives of the respective chambers of commerce. Photo credit @ DailySabah

The economic vision after a solution to the Cyprus issue was officially announced as part of the ongoing comprehensive negotiations between the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and Greek Cyprus, and focuses on tourism, shipping and education. The Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce and Greek Cypriot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KEBE) held a joint event themed with their vision of the Cyprus economy after a solution. Representatives from the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce and Athens Chamber of Commerce attended the event as well. After the opening speeches, Turkish Cyprus President Mustafa Akıncı and Greek Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades shared their visions about the Cyprus economy after a possible solution between two sides is reached.

Akıncı said in his speech that the Cyprus economy can provide for the welfare of its citizens, but this requires creating an economy that is resistant against crises and shocks, competitive and capable of being directed to different fields. “My vision of the Cyprus economy after a solution takes the welfare and prosperity of all Cypriots into account without looking at ethnic origin or background,” Akıncı emphasized.

Akıncı also touched on the economic benefits of the solution between the two sides. He stressed that Cyprus will have the potential to become a shipping center in the eastern Mediterranean and all Cypriot ships will be able to enter Turkish harbors after a solution is reached. He highlighted that a solution would provide endless opportunities for the tourism sector, which is a driving power of both economies on the island and they should devise a joint strategy of cooperation in this field.

One of the first steps to be taken in Cyprus is to establish a Federal Competition Board just like the one that exists in many European countries, Akıncı said. He added that they should invest in education at first to help foster a culture of peace and raise a new generation of children who can speak both Turkish and Greek as their mother tongues. Akıncı said that they were working to create a federation of two societies and two regions described in a joint declaration made on Feb. 11, 2014. “We have to transform our country and we need to do this with no delay. We have to cooperate to transform from the current situation to a Cyprus we want, but we have to work hard. We owe this to the younger generations,” Akıncı concluded.

Greek leader Nicos Anastasiades said the common future of the two societies is based on a united Cyprus as a EU member, which respects democratic principles, human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Anastasiades reiterated from the joint declaration that “the status quo is unacceptable and its prolongation will have negative consequences for the Greek and Turkish Cypriots.” He also mentioned the positive impacts of a settlement. “My vision is to reach a settlement that will end the anachronism related to the current situation and provide hope and the prospect of a better future for all Cypriots, in particular for the younger generations,” noted the Greek leader.

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