İzmir businesses to demand opening of Greek market during Tsipras’ Turkey visit
İZMİR - Anadolu Agency
DHA photoTurkish businesses will ask for the removal of barriers to the Greek market during Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ visit to İzmir planned for next month.
“Greece is still largely closed to foreign investment. There are around 2,000 Greek companies in Turkey, but only 20 Turkish companies there,” said İzmir Chamber of Commerce head Ekrem Demirtaş in a written statement.
“Turkish companies face problems in the Greek market in hiring people, receiving residence permits and opening offices. We have provided all opportunities to lure more foreign investment to Turkey, but Greece doesn’t do the same. We’ll voice our demands during Tsipras’ visit to İzmir in February,” Demirtaş added.
He stated that cultural and economic ties between the two Aegean neighbors had developed quickly in recent years, but have the potential to be boosted further.
“The trade volume between Turkey and Greece has increased from around $200 million in 2000 to $4 billion over the last decade,” Demirtaş said, adding that a number of political issues between the countries are still waiting for resolution.
On the Cyprus issue, he said prospects for a resolution looked quite promising and suggested that closer trade ties between Turkey and Greece would facilitate the reconciliation process.
Demirtaş also said the recent launch of flights between İzmir and Athens would make a positive contribution to trade relations in the short term.
“We also expect the opening of a marine connection between İzmir and Thessalonica,” he added.