Turkish Cypriot
Chamber of Commerce

Brussels Representation Newsletter
 

ISSUE 3, JULY 2013

Advocating Reconciliation through Economic Interdependence

Two years ago, on July 2011, KTTO, together with the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry, its counterpart in the southern part of the island, demonstrated how fruitful business cooperation can lead to a landmark success for the benefit of whole Cyprus. Following an explosion in the Greek Cypriot ammunition site near the town of Mari, also home for a major power plant, South Cyprus had experienced a serious power supply breakdown at the peak of the tourism season, with temperatures rising above 40°C.

Owing to good relations built up between them over the years, the two Chambers have successfully managed to initiate a deal between the official authorities of both sides, which facilitated electricity supply from the North to the South. When the Greek Cypriot side became self-sufficient, sale of electricity stopped. However, the deal produced a permanent outcome: Power networks of both sides are now ready to be interconnected at a very short notice if such a need arises again.

Here, the crucial role of the Economic Interdependence Project,in institutionalizing and enhancing the cooperation between the two Chambers cannot be emphasized enough.The Project which is financed by USAID through UNDP-ACT to create economic interdependence between the business communities on both sides, successfully provided the two Chambers with the means to advance their relations and contribute to the reconciliation on the island.

However, building economic bridges across the Green line can be quite challenging as it is not always easy for the Chambers to keep their base focused on the big picture when the political climate is not always favorable for cooperation. Due to lack of a permanent settlement to the Cyprus problem, there are only a limited number of tools available to advocate for the advancement of economic relations between the two communities on the island.

Nevertheless, despite its hardships, the two Chambers have managed to remain committed to enhancing their cooperation at the business level as well as contributing to the interdependence project in achieving its objectives.

It is as a result of this commitment that the project produced many tangible outcomes. The business directory created for businesses from both sides and, “Nine O Clock News in 2030” mockumentary which aimed to provide people in Cyprus with a vision that their island will be a much better place to live after a political settlement, are only two of them.

Now that the project is coming to an end, the two Chambers are currently working to finalize their work with a new campaign for reconciliation.

KTTO firmly believes that the improvement of economic cooperation between the two communities is crucial for the reconciliation process and for the sustainability of the comprehensive settlement on the island. It is with this vision that KTTO will continue its efforts for the advancement of economic relations between the two sides.
 

 

 

About Us

Established in 1958, the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce (KTTO) is an internationally-recognized organization, representing the Turkish Cypriot business community at home and abroad.  READ MORE

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