Minister of Economy and Energy Ozdil Nami, has said the TRNC will continue its cooperation with Turkey on the issue of natural gas and hydrocarbons. Nami said that “steps which protect the rights and the interests” of the Turkish Cypriots will be taken on this issue. He added:
“There was a policy we created in the past. Simultaneous and equivalent steps with the ones of the Greek Cypriot side will be taken. We have, many times. made a call for dialogue in order to avoid creating tension regarding this issue and we will continue doing this. Will the negotiations regarding the Cyprus problem start? Will the hydrocarbon, energy issue be turned into an opportunity and not a source of tension? We are also watching these, we are trying to contribute. We will continue doing whatever we can for the flow of commerce between the two sides of the island, provided that my Greek Cypriot interlocutors think within the same framework as me.”
Nami said also that they want to broaden their contacts with the EU, intensify the programme for harmonisation with EU laws and broaden its scope. “We want to keep close and warm the relations with the EU. We want to turn North Cyprus into a state harmonised with the EU. And we want to do it quickly. […] Our foreign efforts are not limited only to the EU. We have had meetings with the World Bank as well. They have carried out studies regarding the TRNC economy. We should move from general reports to more concrete sectoral studies. We have formed the cooperation for launching these.
“There are also the Islamic Cooperation Organisation and the Economic Cooperation Organisation. We are also cooperating with them. […] Especially the Gulf market is very important for us. […] If we increase the markets, if we exert intensive effort to take more competitive products to them, I think that then we will pass into quicker economic growth.”
Noting that their target in the energy sector is to reduce the cost of electricity, Nami added: “Acting with this understanding, one of the topics we have in front of us is the electricity connection with Turkey via cables and joining an interconnected system with Turkey. We approached this issue within the framework, which I mentioned earlier. We are looking at it positively, provided that it will make bills cheaper and renewable energy is created.”
Nami also said that there is a project in progress to construct a new yacht marina in Famagusta and for transferring the existing port to the Kalecik region. He added that a new port, a new airport, bringing electricity via undersea cable from Turkey and building new industrial areas and hospitals are projects which could materialise within the next five years.