GYUMRI, December 14. /ARKA/. Armenia’s second largest town of Gyumri, the capital of north-western province of Shirak is hosting the second business forum of Armenian and Turkish entrepreneurs featuring wines, honey, cheese and meat products, produced in both countries.Turkish entrepreneurs are form Kars lying just across the border.
The event is organized by the Caucasus Business and Development Network (CBDN) as part of a Business and Peacekeeping project with the funding and support from USAID, Eurasia-Partnership Foundation as well as International Alert independent peacekeeping organization in London.
“We have a 5-year experience of cooperation with Armenia. In particular, in 2006 we organized a joint exhibition in Kars. Five years have passed and now I see new faces here and this is very encouraging. We are pleased that in addition to manufacturers of cheese and wine, the gathering has attracted also tourism industry representatives, producers of honey and meat products “, Isan Karayazi, the Turkish coordinator of the program, said. According to him, the forum is a good opportunity to encourage entrepreneurs in both countries.
“In the future we plan to expand our cooperation through this program. We know that journalists, NGOs, women’s organizations in Armenia and Turkey have established contacts. This range should be expanded, and I am sure that during our meeting new ideas may born for the development of our cooperation “, he said.
The Armenian coordinator Artush Mkrtchyan said that the first Gyumri – Kars forum took place five years ago and was very productive.
CBDN was founded in 2005 as an institutionalised network of regional offices in Tbilisi, Kutaisi, Tskhinvali, Sokhumi, Yerevan, Gyumri, Baku, in Nagorno-Karabakh and in Istanbul. The scope of their work ranges from training, consultations for local entrepreneurs, sponsorship of business initiatives, research, and advocacy. The network is an effective information exchange mechanism and ensures coordinated work of the individual centers, timely assistance and decision making. There are also bi-lateral, tri-lateral and regional activities and events that are being carried out under the aegis of the CBDN and International Alert in cooperation with local businesses and business associations and international partners. CBDN supports creation of new platforms to promote regional economic cooperation (Caucasian Tea Producers’ Association, Women’s Economic Forum, etc) and supports business initiatives that are for mutually beneficial and promote positive change.