The Turkish Cypriot economy is benefiting from the government’s growth strategies, recording year-on-year growth for the past seven years, TRNC Economy and Energy Minister Sunat Atun told delegates at a business summit in the capital Lefkoşa on Thursday.
The Minister (pictured above, fourth left) was speaking at the opening of the Bölgesel Kalkınma ve Kümelenme Zirvesi (Regional Development and Conglomeration Summit), a one-day event held at the Golden Tulip Hotel. The TRNC Foreign Minister Tahsin Ertuğruloğlu, Turkey’s ambassador to Lefkoşa Seyit Mehmet Apak, Development Bank director Ercan İbrahimoğlu, and leading TRNC business owners were among those present.
Sunat Atun, who is a member of the conservative UBP (National Unity Party) that is the main partner in the TRNC coalition government, claimed: “The growth strategies we have implemented have resulted in noticeable changes in our country: a rise in prosperity and economic stability.”
He stated that for these to be achieved, North Cyprus’ infrastructure had to be improved and prepared for investment, which in turn was yielding positive results for the country:
“The [economic] stability programme we implemented between 2010 and 2012 has generated seven years of consecutive growth during 2010-2017. During this period, we have achieved fiscal discipline and brought [public sector] debt under control.”
TRNC economy posts “242 million TL surplus” in first 7 months of 2017
Debt-ridden and dependent for decades on aid from Turkey, figures revealed by Mr Atun demonstrated how far improvements in North Cyprus’ economic performance had come. Following the first seven months of 2017, the TRNC economy posted a budget surplus of 242 million TL. Of this, 84 mn TL was generated by sources in Turkey, with the bulk of the surplus income locally derived.
In his speech, Mr Atun also stressed the importance of the EU, which he felt offered small and medium sized Turkish Cypriot businesses a vital opportunity to prepare for and succeed across different international markets.
Building on the Economy Minister’s opening remarks, Ercan İbrahimoğlu informed delegates that an Industry Strategy Report was being prepared. Panel discussions at the summit would further inform this, helping to create a “roadmap” that would indicate the optimum level and type of support the country’s leading corporations required as they sought to expand their commercial activities in the region and beyond.
Mr İbrahimoğlu added that the Development Bank was on hand to offer technical and financial support to business owners and shareholders, to give them “specific solutions to the challenges they faced.” The bank would not only facilitate dialogue and coordination among stakeholders, but also encourage business headquarters to take the necessary steps as they proceeded to evolve into conglomerates.