YEREVAN (Armenpress)–"Turkey is our natural neighbor and whether we want it or not we are doomed to live side by side and by comprehending one another’s interests we have to try to launch a mutually profitable cooperation," Arsen Ghazarian–the Armenian Co-Chairman of Turkish Armenian Business Development Committee said at a December 20 news conference.
During five years of its operation–the TABDC has made serious progress towards representing one another’s economic interests. "We have succeeded in presenting an Armenian business environment and cooperation potential in energy–industry–transport and trade sectors to Turkish businessmen," said Ghazarian.
"Despite the fact that Turkey is continuing Armenia’s blockade–the TABDC has succeeded in overcoming the negative public opinion about Armenia’s in Turkey," said Ghazarian–adding that the Armenian Genocide recognition campaign in the parliamen’s of various countries has divided the Turkish society into two groups.
One group is for strengthening the sanctions and blockade against Armenia–while the other believes that Turkey should lift those sanctions. To ease the negative attitude towards Armenia–the Armenian-Turkish Business Council organized a concert by the Armenian National Dance Group in Istanbul. "But the results have exceeded our expectations. We have succeeded in opening a cultural breach in this deadlock"–said Ghazarian.
Turkish co-chairman of TABDC Kaan Soyak noted that he shares the opinion of Ghazarian and believes that every step made by either Turkey or Armenia towards improvement of relations would be welcome in Turkey.
Despite the tough conditions for doing business–trade between Turkey and Armenia has reached up to $50-60 million dollars. According to Kaan Soyak–Armenia is important for Turkish businessmen–not only as a serious economic partner–but also as a transit country which provides access to huge markets in Russia and Central Asia. Trade between two countries is being conducted through third countries–which raises prices by 25-30 percent. According to official statistics–Turkish businessmen have invested $1.5 million in 25 Armenian businesses.
At the initiative of TABDC–a group of Turkish journalists from Turkey’s TV-8 channel are in Armenia to shoot a film about survivors of the Armenian genocide