YEREVAN, October 5. / ARKA /. Turkish businessmen are interested in establishing business relations with Armenian partners and enhance trade relations between the two countries, Arsen Ghazarian, the chairman of the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of Armenia, said today at the fourth Armenian-Turkish business forum in Yerevan.
"The first result of our work, which we can now evaluate, is the sweeping change of stereotypes in the Turkish business community. If earlier Turks were extremely skeptical about the prospects for economic cooperation with Armenia, today they realize that even with closed borders and the lack of diplomatic relations, the markets work, «he said.
In addition, according to Ghazarian, contacts have been established with Turkish civic organizations that are also working to address the embargo on Armenian products in Turkey.
"We are pleased that our partners in Turkey together with us are willing to go forward and to ensure that the Turkish authorities recognize the priority of their own economic relations and become real neighbors without preconditions,» said Ghazarian.
He said all the products, which Armenia successfully exports to USA, Europe and CIS, may be sold also in Turkey. They are agricultural production, IT products, textiles, brandy.
‘It is not important that Turkey itself has succeeded in producing and exporting of various products. The main thing is cooperation. The market is always in need of new products," he stressed.
He said the deeply-rooted stereotypes prevent the Turkish authorities from taking a political decision and realize that, despite the fact that the Armenian market is small, it is a serious regional partner.
Ghazarian said the trade between Turkey and Armenia each year ranges from $ 150 to $ 220 million, while the export of Armenian goods to Turkey is $10-20 million a year.
The forum is organized by the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of Armenia as part of a two-year program of the USAID "Promotion of the Armenian-Turkish rapprochement," launched in October 2010. A similar forum was held in Turkey earlier this year. The forum in Yerevan is being attended by about 50 businessmen, mainly from eastern Turkey. The partner organization is the Turkish-Armenian Business Development Council (TABDC). -0-