06 December, 2007
The founding of a Greece-Turkey Business Council was announced on Wednesday in Athens by the Federation of Greek Industries (SEB) and Turkey's Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK) during a working breakfast, which was also attended by Greek foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis and visiting Turkish foreign minister Ali Babacan.
The target of the Council is to boost bilateral trade, and chiefly collaborations between the two business communities, in the region of Southeastern Europe, where Greece is a strong force, and in the Black Sea countries, where Turkish entrepreneurs have substantial penetration.
In a brief address at the session, Bakoyannis expressed satisfaction over the development of bilateral economic relations, placing particular emphasis on cooperation in the energy sector and making specific reference to the inauguration of the Greece-Turkey natural gas pipeline by prime ministers Costas Karamanlis of Greece and Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Bakoyannis invited the Turkish entrepreneurs to take advantage of the opportunities offered by Greece and to invest here, noting that the Greek side has made substantial investments in Turkey estimated at 5.5 billion dollars.
She also called for elimination of the bureaucratic obstacles in Turkey of imports from Greece, and for increased tourism to Greece, noting that the number of Greek tourists to Turkey was continuously increasing, reaching 500,000 last year.
Addressing herself to both Greek and Turkish businessmen, Bakoyannis stressed that "every investment you make is an investment in the future, in the creation of collaborations with immense mutual benefit, which translates into peace, security, growth and prosperity".
DEIK board of directors member Selim Egeli, a prominent entrepreneur thanked the Greek political leadership, through Bakoyannis, for its support of Turkey's EU course.
Source: Athens News Agency