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UAE-Cyprus Business Forum explores strategies to develop bilateral trade, investment and tourism

United Arab Emirates: Tuesday, January 27 - 2009 @ 16:14

The event was organised by the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) in coordination with the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Cyprus Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism, and the Cyprus Trade Center in Dubai.

Delegates discussed the business and investment opportunities opened up by Cyprus’ liberal business and trade environments. The country allows foreign investors to acquire an equity share of up to 100% in any domestic enterprise, does not require a minimum level of capital investment, and offers tax incentives that support maximum profit. The Forum also examined ways to further take advantage of Cyrpus’ strategic geographic location, which is close to vital shipping and air routes linking Europe with Middle and Far East countries.

Ahmad Mohammad Al Midfaa, Chairman, SCCI, said:

“Cyprus serves as an important link between Europe and the Middle East. Its position at the crossroads of three continents in effect makes it Europe’s south-easternmost trading post. The significant gains the country has made in domestic economic and regulatory infrastructure, banking, and international finance in particular make it an essential part of the UAE’s foreign trade agenda.”

Cyprus, the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, lies at the intersection of the European, African and Asian continents. It became an official member of the European Union (EU) in 2004, which significantly enhanced its economic and investment prospects. Its increasing role as a major regional and international commercial and business partner and the emergence of local economic growth areas such as telecommunications and tourism mirror the UAE’s own development as a business and travel hub of the Middle East. The UAE has been highly supportive of initiatives to boost its bilateral relations with Cyprus and between the Gulf and the EU in general.

“Our countries have been able to overcome the challenges posed by today’s difficult economic conditions due to our diversification into lucrative industries, our wise management of our resources, and our good relations with our trade partners. Through this Forum, we hope to further strengthen our ties and together strive to attain our shared goal of sustained prosperity and peace,” said Charalambos Orphanides, Commercial and Industrial Officer, Cyprus Ministry of Commerce Industry and Tourism.

The Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry has been hosting several meetings with its regional partners in support of the domestic business community and for the development of its members. The Chamber has also been actively pursuing the increase of foreign investments into Sharjah. Total trade between the UAE and Cyprus reached around Dhs11.7m in 2007; SCCI and the Cyprus Chamber have committed to further expanding bilateral commerce by improving communication and collaboration between its members, particularly in exchanging best practices and providing updates on business and investment opportunities.

“We look forward to more collaboration between our organizations and the SCCI, which will lead to enhanced trade, investments and economic activities between our two countries. Sharjah offers numerous prospects that we are very eager to take advantage of, especially now that our countries are assuming greater roles in regional and global commerce and trade,” concluded Christis M. Christoforou, Board Member of the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry and President of the Cyprus-GCC Business Association.

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Tuesday, January 27- 2009 @ 16:14 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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