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Toros appeals for direct trade for TRNC

27 January 2015

Fikri Toros (R), chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce, has met with the EU Commission’s Deputy Director General Responsible for Regional Policies, Normunds Popens (L) and the Head of the EU Commission’s Office for the Turkish Cypriots, Michele Di Bucci.

According to a statement issued by the Chamber, Toros explained to Popens the Turkish Cypriot “urgent” expectations on the Direct Trade Regulation, the registration of halloumi cheese and expanding the provisions of the Green Line Regulation.

Noting that the Direct Trade Regulation has paved the way for the Turkish Cypriots trading directly with the EU, Toros described as “saddening” the fact that a humanitarian issue such as direct trade for the Turkish Cypriots, who are EU citizens, is politicised.

He argued that direct trade would motivate everyone to reach EU standards. He added that another means of preparing the Turkish Cypriots for the solution of the Cyprus problem is the Green Line Regulation, which should be revised and improved. He expressed the view that if commercial vehicles and processed food were permitted to cross over to South Cyprus, this would make a very significant contribution to the volume of trade within the framework of this regulation.

Toros further stated that if the EU does not develop a mechanism for the Turkish Cypriot producers when registering halloumi cheese, this will harm the trade of this product which constitutes one quarter of the TRNC’s exports and will have negative effects on the Turkish Cypriot economy.

He said that this will also contradict the promises given by the EU to the Turkish Cypriots and complained that the EU has not kept the promise it gave last year for increasing the level of EU standards in the TRNC with the Union.

According to the chamber’s statement, Popens said that their cooperation would continue and increase and expressed his satisfaction with his briefing by Toros, describing the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce as the “EU’s most important partner here”.

Source Kibris Gazetesi

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