A so-far elusive deal to reunite Cyprus would mean more money in pockets on both sides of the ethnically divided island, a World Bank and UN-funded report said Monday.
Presenting the study’s results, authors Enrique Aldaz-Carroll and Reena Badiani-Magnusson said a peace accord could boost the incomes of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots by 7 percent within a decade.
They said economic growth could mark an extra annual increase of 0.4 percentage points in the country's south – where the internationally recognized government is seated – and 1.8 percentage points in the breakaway north.
Cyprus was split in 1974 when Turkey invaded following an abortive coup by supporters of union with Greece. Only Turkey recognizes a Turkish Cypriot declaration of independence in the north and only the south enjoys full benefits from the country's European Union membership.
UN-backed talks to reunify Cyprus as a federation are now at a stalemate and hopes for a quick return to negotiations look dim. The last effort to resolve the issue at the highest level was in 2017.
The economy is projected to grow this year by 2.9 percent in the south and 1.8 percent in the north.
The economic benefits of an accord would be greater for Turkish Cypriots whose income could reach 75 percent of that of Greek Cypriots in 10 years – 8 percent more than if division remains.
The two officials said energy, water and transport infrastructure upgrades could generate 1.1 billion euros ($1.19 billion) of investment opportunities within 2-3 years of reunification.
Greek Cypriot economic output could increase by 3.4 percent by 2035 through exports to Turkey like financial services, shipping and tourism. Within the same span, Turkish Cypriot exports of goods and services to the EU could jump by 12.2 percent of their current gross domestic product. [AP]