By Maria Tsangari
THE reunification of Cyprus will be beneficial to the island’s economy, with both chambers of commerce from each side of the divide saying that such a solution would have a positive impact on the economy.
The Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KEVE) and the Turkish Cypriot Chamber launch a bi-communal awareness campaign entitled “What if…” highlighting the economic prospects of reunification. Nobel Laureate Christophoros Pissarides and Turkish Cypriot economist Mustafa Besim also contributed to the campaign with filmed interviews which were screened during the event.
KEVE president Phidias Pilides said that both economists, as well as data collected by the two chambers, prove that a solution of the Cyprus problem will have positive consequences for the island’s economy.
According to Pilides, a solution of will have financial advantages by bringing security and stability and constituting the island as a stable place within the region. This will attract investors who will boost sectors of the economy that are now in recession and even create jobs, he said.
Pilides added that reunification will improve financial relations with Turkey. A future treaty on the avoidance of double taxation will allow Cyprus to offer services to Turkish companies registered in the island, while trade and economic relations with Turkey in general will grow, he said.
Pilides also said that if Ankara’s boycott is lifted and Cypriot vessels are allowed access to Turkish ports, Cyprus will strengthen its position as a maritime and ship management centre in Europe creating new opportunities to cooperate with emerging markets in central Asia.
George Michaelides, head of the Famagusta chamber spoke of the bi-communal initiative of Famagusta residents to demand the return of the city and the opening of its port to Turkish Cypriot trade similar to a proposal tabled by president Nicos Anastasiades who believes that the opening up of the port will prove that the two communities can coexist peacefully.
Former KEVE president Manthos Mavromatis said that ordinary people are keen for a solution to the great economic problems Cyprus faces today.
“Economic growth will result from a proper and viable solution that will help both communities resolve their economic problems as well,” he said.