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23 May, 2024
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Chamber of Commerce exposes government's failure on buffer zone unfairness

Greek Cypriot products struggle against unfair taxes


The Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) approaches the issue of expanding the list of products falling under the Green Line Regulation with understanding, while urging the government to devise compensatory measures regarding unfair competition faced by Greek Cypriot products.

It emphasizes having already formulated a plan for compensatory measures, expressing readiness to discuss it with the government.

In its statement on the matter, CCCI reminds that the Green Line Regulation, an EU regulation adopted prior to Cyprus's accession on May 1, 2004, constitutes a statutory obligation of the Republic of Cyprus. It underscores its collaboration with all Cypriot governments, irrespective of political agendas, to ensure the successful implementation of the Regulation.

CCCI aligns with the EU and international community, stressing that economic cooperation between the two communities enhances collaboration and contributes positively to efforts for a comprehensive resolution of the Cyprus issue. However, it asserts that reciprocal efforts are necessary for fostering cooperation between the communities, highlighting disparities in sales figures between Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot products.

The Chamber highlights two reasons for the reduced sales of Greek Cypriot products to the occupied areas: the requirement for prior approval from Turkish Cypriot businesses and the imposition of Value-Added Tax (VAT) on Greek Cypriot products, making them non-competitive.

Despite longstanding efforts to exempt these products from VAT, EU authorities remain resistant, citing potential violations of EU VAT regulations. CCCI insists that rectifying this injustice requires proactive measures from the Republic of Cyprus to address unequal competition.

CCCI acknowledges the government's decision to expand the list of products under the Regulation but calls for a plan to offset distortions in sales between areas under effective control of the Republic of Cyprus and the occupied areas, which constitute unfair competition against Greek Cypriot products.

As the official advisor to the state on economic matters, CCCI has already formulated such a plan and stands ready to discuss it with the government. It emphasizes the importance of fostering equal economic cooperation between the two communities, aiming for mutual benefit and contributing to trust-building efforts and the resolution of the political problem.

CCCI reaffirms its unwavering support for commercial and economic cooperation between Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities, always advocating for equitable terms in such endeavors.

[With information sourced from CNA]

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