Businesses in the UAE and Cyprus should seek to benefit from the various initiatives being taken by respective governments in enhancing bilateral economic cooperation, Nicos Anastasiades, President of the Republic of Cyprus, said on Wednesday.
Phidias Pilides, Nicos Anastasiades, Hisham Al Shirawi and Hamad Buamim at the UAE-Cyprus Business Forum at in Dubai on Wednesday. — Supplied photo
Anastasiades, who is in the UAE with a 50-memebr delegation, said his government is committed to boosting cooperation between the business communities of the two countries in every possible way.
During the delegation current visit, both countries have signed a bilateral agreement for cooperation in the air travel services sector and Memoranda of Understanding on energy, tourism, education and science. The MoUs were signed in the context of a meeting between Anastasiades and General Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, in the capital.
Addressing a UAE-Cyprus Business Forum at the Dubai Chamber on Wednesday, Anastasiades said his delegation including ministers and deputy ministers and business leaders underscored the commitment to further bolster the two-way ties.
The forum was organised by Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry in partnership with the Cyprus Ministry of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism and Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Dubai on Wednesday. Anastasiades said the Cypriot government was keen to build on the historic ties enjoyed by the two countries.
The UAE and Cyprus have already in place a treaty to avoid double taxation, he said. He pointed out that the recent discovery of natural gas in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone opens up new opportunities for investments in the energy sector while there are plenty of openings for investments in real estate, health and rehabilitation centres, shipping, technology, innovation and in large tourist investment projects such as marinas, golf courses, thematic parks and other tourist developments.
Anastasiades said Cyprus is currently implementing a series of measures aimed at reducing bureaucracy and encouraging doing business by overhauling the procedure for the speedier issuance of permits and licensing of projects. He pointed out that the European Union has commended Cyprus as a model for economic recovery.
He thanked Dubai Chamber for organising the forum as well as the organisation’s efforts in developing and improving economic cooperation between the business communities of Dubai and Cyprus as he also stressed on his country’s desire to take these ties to a higher level.
Hamad Buamim, president and CEO of Dubai Chamber, Yiorgos Lakkotrypis, Minister, Ministry of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Harris Georgiades, Cyprus Finance Minister, and Christodoulos Angastiniotis, Chairman, Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency, were among those attending the forum.
Hisham Al Shirawi, second vice- chairman of Dubai Chamber, urged Cyprus businesses to benefit from Dubai’s strategic location to reach out to their trading partners in the region. “We see big potential to develop future synergies based on our shared experience and existing close connections,’’ he said. Highlighting Dubai’s status of a vibrant business destination, Al Shirawi said the emirate is open to foreign investment and provides a safe and stable base in the high-growth Middle East market while serving as a potential gateway to major consumer markets in Asia and Africa. “We have a growing and diversified economy that will directly benefit Cypriot companies to reach out to over two billion consumers in the region.”
Another important economic strength for Dubai is trade, which over recent years has seen strong growth with Cyprus as the emirate’s total non-oil trade with the country increased by 35 per cent or Dh100 million between 2011 and in 2012, Al Shirawi said. “Presently, there are 40 Cypriot member companies registered with Dubai Chamber, and are engaged in trading, engineering, services and contracting. We would like to encourage more Cypriot companies to consider Dubai as an advantage to their business.”
Phidias Pilides, President, Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said Cyprus is strategically situated at the crossroads of three continents and as a full member of the European Union and the Eurozone, the country can serve as a link between Europe and particularly the Middle East and as a gateway to the EU for Dubai firms.
He hoped that the Business Forum would be the first step towards an even more stable and constructive base for cooperation between the business people of the two countries. The main imports from Cyprus to the UAE included wheat, flour, Haloumi cheese, fruits and vegetable juices, pharmaceutical products and live animals while exports from the UAE to Cyprus consist of aluminium, electrical machinery, equipment and cosmetics.
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