YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)– The economic cooperation between Armenia and Turkey makes the settlement of the political issue more accessible–head of "Yeraz" Open Joint-Stock Company Hovsep Seferian said–presenting the results of a meeting of businessmen from the three South Caucasus countries which took place in Istanbul.
The meeting was organized by the US embassies in Armenia–Georgia–Azerbaijan and Turkey. Eight businessmen who represented Armenia at the meeting submitted 11 investment projects.
According to Seferian–among the issues discussed were those of investing and economic development. Seferian believes that steps aimed at the development of economic cooperation will create favorable conditions for opening the Armenia-Turkey border. He said that the Union of Entrepreneurs of Trabizon offered cooperation to the Armenian businessmen.
According to "Apaven" enterprise’s director Arsen Ghazarian–the Armenia-Turkey relations "have approached to a qualitatively new phase." The projects submitted by the Armenian businessmen mainly include light and food industries–cargo shipmen’s and tourism.
Turkey’s major companies expressed willingness to cooperate with Armenia. Both sides have big expectations on the issue of opening the borders.
The Armenian businessmen also noted that Turkey may become a serious importer of Armenian energy as Turkey’s annual energy consumption rate grows by 20 percent . Without having its own energy sources–Turkey has to import energy. According to the Armenian representatives–Georgia sells Turkey energy which it buys from Armenia. In Turkey the average wholesale price for energy totals 6-7 cents–whereas in Armenia it makes up 3-3.5 cents.