Turkey vows to build stronger ties between Black Sea countries
As part of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC), Ankara has taken important steps towards solving political problems with its neighbors, improving economic ties with regional countries, and eliminating obstacles to free travel among these countries, said State Minister Bulent Arinc yesterday. Speaking at the opening of the Black Sea Business Forum, organized by the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Parliamentary Assembly (KEIPA), Turkish Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists (TUSKON), and Eastern Black Sea Development Agency, Arinc said the forum's 12 members are there in order to improve the welfare of all people living near the Black Sea. "Since being founded 17 years ago, KEIPA has played a key role in changing the situation between regional countries," said Arinc. Also speaking at the forum, TUSKON head Rizanur Meral said that the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Council (BSECC) was the start of organized, meaningful trade in the region. "We think the Black Sea Business Forum should be held annually," he added, "as this will spur the business world and help to improve economic activities between neighboring countries." Some 650 businessmen from Black Sea countries came together for the forum, and participating companies are set to hold more than 1,800 business discussions afterwards, he said.