Newsroom / CNA
The European Commission has announced the establishment of an information and support center, in collaboration with the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) and the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce (TCCC), to facilitate legal trade across the Green Line for Cypriot businesses and individuals.
This EU-funded initiative aims to create a comprehensive one-stop-shop, providing information, technical assistance, and tailored support to enhance trade activities. The Commission plans to initiate the project in October 2023, commencing with the setup of a physical office after the procurement period in the summer.
The newly established center will offer consultations in person, online, and via phone, focusing on product-specific trade requirements. Additionally, it will facilitate connections between potential traders and buyers through a "match-making" mechanism.
To further assist businesses on both sides of the divide in increasing Green Line trade, a supplementary online platform will be created. This platform will be accessible in both Greek and Turkish and will serve as a central hub for information, resources, and documentation. The goal is to facilitate the legal trade of products compliant with European regulations and standards, paving the way for the island's reunification, as stated in a press release.
Kjartan Björnsson, the Deputy Director and Head of the Unit for Cyprus Settlement Support in DG Reform emphasized that this agreement demonstrates the ongoing commitment of the EU and the two Chambers to foster economic development and cooperation in Cyprus. Björnsson expressed satisfaction with the participation of both business communities and highlighted the importance of providing accessible and tailored support to Turkish Cypriot businesses, creating a level playing field in preparation for the island's reunification.
The European Commission aims to maximize the implementation of the Green Line Regulation and offer support to Turkish Cypriot businesses, ensuring their products meet the necessary requirements to access the EU market. Alongside the economic benefits for both communities, Green Line trade contributes to building trust and fostering business relations across the divide, according to the press release.
The terms governing the movement of individuals and goods across the line from non-government-controlled areas to government-controlled areas are outlined in Council Regulation 866/2004, also known as the "Green Line Regulation." In 2022, the value of Green Line trade reached an all-time high of €14,647,241, representing a 138% increase compared to 2021 (€6,151,022).
Despite this substantial growth, the Commission acknowledges that there is still significant room for improvement, as the annual value of Green Line trade remains modest.