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Greek-Turkish Cypriot Chambers promote training programmes
2002-06-05 11:18:32

Nicosia, Jun 4 (CNA) -- Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot businessmen, members of their communities' respective Chambers of Commerce, will be going to Brussels later this month to seek EU backing for a joint training programme, they agreed on at a meeting here Monday.

The programme, at an estimated cost of 1,5 million euros, is part of bicommunal projects the EU is trying to promote and provides for the training of middle-size businesses, seminars on the safety at work and information about how the EU is developing.

"If we succeed in this attempt for 2002, then increased funds can be allocated for next year, up to five million euros," Vasilis Rologis, president of the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KEVE) said Monday after the meeting with Turkish Cypriot businessmen, at the UN-controlled buffer zone.|

The agreed draft will be communicated to Gunter Verheugen, EU Commissioner responsible for enlargement, and the chief EU negotiator with Cyprus Leopold Maurer.

Representatives of the two chambers will go to Brussels to discuss with the EU the draft, before the final approval of the programmes.

Replying to questions, Rologis said no direct funding to businesses is provided for in this year's training programme as such a prospect will be discussed for 2003.

He also said that it is too early to begin joint business activities.

Rologis said the past few meetings between the two chambers have been "very successful" and neither side tried to introduce political considerations at the discussions.

"There was a spirit of cooperation in out attempt to make the most of EU funding," he said.

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