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EU to create info centre for Cypriot businesses to boost Green Line trade

Crossing Point

The EU will create an information and support centre for Cypriot businesses looking to cooperate across the Green Line, the European Commission said on Friday.

Such a centre will be created in cooperation with the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Keve) and the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce (Ktto), the commission added in their announcement.

The EU-funded initiative will be a one-stop shop from which interested parties will be able to receive information and technical support for commercial transactions across the Green Line.

According to the EU, the project will begin in October 2023 with the creation of a specialised office, for which a tender process will be launched in the summer.

This one stop shop will provide consulting services and personalised support through personal contact, by phone or online to comply with the required regulations for each product allowed to be traded across the Green Line, while facilitating the contact and matching of sellers and buyers.

The plans also include the creation of an online platform in Greek and Turkish, which will act as a central hub of information, reference, and documentation, with the aim of supporting businesses from both sides that aspire to increase their commercial transactions.

The commission said that the aim of this initiative is to facilitate the legal trade of products that comply with all the necessary European regulations and European standards, to pave the way for the reunification of the island.

The head of the Cyprus Settlement Support office of the EU, Kjartan Bjornsson said that the agreement was made in the framework of the EU together with two chambers of commerce to promote economic development and cooperation in Cyprus.

“By providing accessible and tailored support to Turkish Cypriot businesses to comply with EU standards and regulations, we help create a level playing field for the Turkish Cypriot community and prepare the ground for the reunification of the island, which is our ultimate goal,” Bjornsson said.

Meanwhile, a few weeks ago the two chambers issued an announcement saying that they support trade across the Green Line and they called on the two community leaders to do the same.

They said they were pleased to share their commitment to maintaining lasting cooperation regarding the implementation of Green Line trade since 2004 and utilising every opportunity to improve such cooperation.

Especially in 2022, they noted that trade across the Green Line showed a significant increase.

An announcement said: “Both parties appreciate the contribution of increased Green Line trade to the improvement of dialogue, relations and cooperation between them but also to the efforts for a viable solution of the Cyprus problem.”

The two chambers also declared their consensus and commitment to continue their support in eliminating bilateral bureaucratic challenges related to Green Line trade in order to promote further convergence between Greek and Turkish Cypriots.

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