Northern Syria's Afrin, which was cleared of terrorist elements by Turkish military-backed Operation Olive Branch last year, is now looking for ways to revive trade and commerce, with the help of Turkey.
Nasser Husso, the head of the Afrin Chamber of Industry and Trade, said the organization is looking to restore commercial activities in Afrin. "There are 216 members registered with our chamber. We want the region to develop and the best possible cooperation at this point will be made with Turkey," he added.
Husso said after the war broke out in Syria, people migrated to Afrin and its environs, due to its proximity to Turkish borders and quick access to humanitarian aid. He added that the region was reshaped in the commercial sense when many industrialists and traders came to Afrin with this wave of migration, but that came to a halt due to terrorism.
"Afrin, cleared from terrorist elements with the Operation Olive Branch, has entered a new era," Husso added. "We have established Afrin Chamber of Industry and Trade to gather the city's business people under one roof, in order to ensure the revival of the regional trade and to develop commercial relations. There are 216 members registered with our chamber."
Husso said the chamber expects that the Olive Branch Customs Gate, which is currently being used for humanitarian activities only, would be opened to commercial activities as well, which will, in turn, accelerate trade.
Pointing to the region's significant potential, Husso said Afrin is especially famous for its olive oil. "There are at least 15 million olive trees in the area as well as 197 olive oil factories and 16 soap plants.
"We want to purchase more white goods, food products and other basic supplies from Turkey, which is currently the top commercial partner not only in Afrin and the Euphrates Shield region but also in entire Syria," said Hüss, adding that they will meet more Turkish businesspeople more frequently to boost trade.
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