Interview with the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce

Northern Cyprus seems small in comparison with its neighbouring countries; however, the hard work of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce, the biggest business association in Northern Cyprus, has been turning the island into a major investment destination in the Mediterranean region.

Middle East Business Magazine spoke with Eng. Umut Vehit, Operations Manager at the Chamber of Commerce, who kindly gave us some background about the Chamber and its activities.

Could you tell us about your organisation’s history in Northern Cyprus?

The Chamber was established in 1958 and since then it has been acting as a bridge between local and international investors. In other words, from its earliest days the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce has been closely involved with international trade and with assisting members with day-to-day trading issues.

It is also the driving force behind the government to take action towards becoming a competitive and strong economy as it evaluates the Turkish Cypriot economy from a competitiveness point of view and believes that the key to developing the small island economy of Northern Cyprus is through increasing its competitiveness accordingly.

How does Northern Cyprus fare on a regional level?

Recently, the interest of neighbouring countries (especially Middle Eastern and Gulf countries) to Northern Cyprus is increasing rapidly. Unique investment opportunities, together with the beauty of the island, are now being explored by major investors.

According to these investors, Northern Cyprus is the only country in the Eastern Mediterranean that is yet to be explored and still offers high returns on investments. This realisation in the market is mostly due to the immense work of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce in terms of development of trade and establishment of joint ventures.

Northern Cyprus is one of the top places in terms of having the highest student-to-population ratio in the world. How is that?

Yes, that’s true, there are 8 international universities in North Cyprus that host over 55,000 students originating from more than 100 countries worldwide. The quality of education is in global standards and the teaching language is English in most of the faculties. Therefore, students studying in North Cyprus feel at home with  the close cultural ties, ease of access and the perfect climate for education.

What about tourists?

Cyprus is a very charming island; we have approximately a million tourists a year to Northern Cyprus.

Can you tell our readers how to contact you if they are interested?

We are keen to discuss investment/joint venture opportunities between Middle East/Gulf countries and Northern Cyprus. Interested readers can contact me to discuss the potential that can be created together with the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce: uvehit@ktto.net

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