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ITO says Western Thrace crucial for Turkish businesses in Greece ties June 9, 2010

Posted by Yilan in Turkey.
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Chairman of the Istanbul Chamber of Trade Yalcintas said there were fruitful investment fields in Greece.

Chairman of the Istanbul Chamber of Trade (ITO) Murat Yalcintas said Monday there were fruitful investment fields in Greece.

The Assembly of ITO held its 3rd Working Meeting in the 18th Term in Greece’s Western Thrace city of Komotini.

In a press conference held in Komotini city, Yalcintas touched on areas of economic cooperation between Turkey and Greece.

Western Thrace was an important factor as far as fruitful investment fields were concerned, Yalcintas said.

ITO’s meeting in Komotini was coordinated with the visit of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Athens. The Working Meeting took place with the participation of around 200 members, deputies, bureaucrats and university professors. The goal of the meeting was to promote economic cooperation with Greece, Yalcintas said.

I believe that Greece will overcome the economic crisis it is in with measures to be taken. The future of Greece is bright. We would like to provide assistance to Greece during this process, Yalcintas said.

Turkey went through a serious economic crisis in 2001. However, thanks to measures taken, Turkey became one of the fastest growing countries in the world. I believe that the crisis in Greece could be turned into an opportunity. Many chronical problems in Greece will be resolved by the measures Greece will take. We want to contribute to the economic development of Greece by making investments there and by cooperating with Greek businesspeople in third countries, Yalcintas said.

There exist great opportunities between Turkey and Greece in the economic field. Western Thrace, a region in which a sizable Turkish population live, is an important factor to be evaluated, Yalcintas said.

The Western Thrace region is crucial for businesses in Istanbul to open up to Europe. The presence of Turkish speaking people in Western Thrace is an advantage for Turkish businesses in Istanbul. Turkish businesses planning to do business in Western Thrace can work with Turkish speaking people who know the Greek economy well as Greek citizens. I believe that these individuals in Western Thrace could be an important bridge between Turkey and Greece, Yalcindag said.

The region is a suitable one for cattle breeding and agriculture. It is a region very close to Turkey. Investments made in Western Thrace and the resulting products could be exported to Turkey, Yalcindag said.

Another matter that should be evaluated here is tourism. We believe that, due to cultural similarity, tourists from Turkey could be brought to the region and vice versa, Yalcindag stressed.

Turkey and Greece got closer to each other in the past 7-8 years. The close relations began as a result of big earthquakes in both countries. And now, the world is experiencing an economic earthquake. This economic earthquake has brought our countries closer to each other, Yalcindag said.

Members of ITO Assembly got together with Greek businessmen at a dinner on Monday.

ITO members will return to Turkey on Tuesday after meeting with Greek officials.

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