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Greek-Turkish regional economic forum in Komotini

Δημοσίευση 17 Ιανουαρίου 2011, 11:46 / Ανανεώθηκε 27 Ιουνίου 2013, 14:55
Greek-Turkish regional economic forum in Komotini
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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.

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.

He also acknowledged that bureaucracy, which encumbers investments, "existed and exists" in Greece.

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".

He said that if the Aegean becomes a "sea of peace", there should be no war vessels and aircraft but merchant ships, adding that the responsibility of improving bilateral relations lies not only on the representatives of the respective governments but also on the enterprises and on the media, and noting that "some small steps" have been made towards achieving that goal.

Ergun urged Turkish entrepreneurs to make more investments in Greece, and on the Greeks to improve the business environment.

Greek-Turkish Chamber president Panagiotis Koutsikos noted that Greek investments in Turkey were estimated at 6.2 billion euros, with 80 percent of the Greek investments in Turkey focused in Istanbul and 10 percent in Izmir.

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".

Chairman of the Union of Chambers of Greece, George Kassimatis, underlined the prospect of mutual cooperation opening up, stressing that, in bilateral external trade, Greece and Turkey have been long-standing strategic partners.

The forum was attended by 350 Greek and Turkish businessmen.