Chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce (KTTO) Turgay Deniz, spoke to TAK news agency regarding the Green Line Regulation.
With the Green Line Regulation imposed by the EU in 2004 in order to help develop the North Cyprus economy until a settlement is reached in Cyprus. Exporting has been in operation for years.
Since 2004, exports have been around €3-4 million per year in the last 10 years. It accounts for just 0.06% of the general imports of Green Line Trade, which is equivalent to 4% of the export made by the TRNC to South Cyprus.
The KTTO chairman does not think that the Greek Cypriot leadership really supports the regulation, even if the scope is expanded, because of psychological obstacles. Deniz believes that if “the development of our economy is to be helped, the Direct Trade Regulation must become fully functional”.
He said that the Regulation has come into question once again, especially due to the increase in illicit trade. Deniz touched on the trade that has taken place in the past 14 years through the Green Line Regulation and the problems that have been experienced.
Under the Green Line Regulation in 2017, 4.7 million Euro worth of trade was made. This was an increase of 6% in comparison to 2016. Deniz noted that main product traded was plastic.
The chairman also referred to local products produced by the Turkish Cypriots and said that if the Turkish Cypriots could find buyers, they could easily trade through the Green Line Regulation. They have been prepared and have been in action for 14 years, but no progress has been made within this time period.
Explaining that the KTTO has met with the Greek Cypriot Chamber of Commerce on several occasions and asked for assistance in broadening the Green Line Regulation to cover different areas, Deniz said: “The Greek Cypriots have always told us that Turkish Cypriot produce creates unfair competition and therefore they have never supported the Green Line Regulation.”
Touching on the fact that the Greek Cypriot authorities are carrying out fuel checks at the border crossings, he said that this only served to create psychological pressure on its citizens and has no legal basis.
“They are trying to prevent people from crossing over and shopping”, he said.