The closed border between Armenia and Turkey does not completely halt bilateral economic relations, the enhancement of which can enlarge and empower the pro-normalization constituencies on the both sides of the border.
In the past few years, many parameters of the economic and strategic framework in the region transformed, creating new opportunities and challenges for stronger cooperation. One of the most important of such novelties was Armenia joining the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), which is expected to create a significant trade diversion impact, including potential impacts on trade with Turkey. Also, in line with its “Belt and Road” initiative, China plans to promote both “hardware” and “software” integration and economic connectivity over the Modern Silk Road.
Perhaps the most relevant project for Armenia within this initiative will be the construction of the Baku-Tblisi-Kars railway, which will provide a new railway connection for the landlocked country to Turkey’s Mersin Port on the Mediterranean. While the focus of TEPAV in ATNP I was on sectoral bilateral economic relation opportunities between Armenia and Turkey through Tourism and ICT sectors, with the on going fundamental alterations in the region TEPAV will pursue a more macro-level and regional approach in ATNP II.
The economic opportunity analysis will generate a comprehensive research paper exploring the new risks and opportunities for economic integration between Armenia and Turkey. Dissemination events in Turkey and Armenia will be organized to present the results and elaborate on the proposed policy measures and recommendations to overcome risks and utilize opportunities.
Eurasia Partnership Foundation (EPF) in collaboration with TOG (Community Volunteers Foundation, Turkey) organised an exchange visit of Armenia-based youth workers and volunteers to Istanbul, Izmit and Eskişehir on July 18-23, 2017 implemented as a part of EPF’s YouthBank activity within the framework of programme Support to the Armenia-Turkey Normalisation Process, funded by the European Union.