UAE-Cyprus Business Forum explores joint investment opportunities
H.E. Nicos Anastasiades, President of the Republic of Cyprus, called upon UAE and Cyprus businesses to benefit from the extraordinary efforts of their respective governments in enhancing economic cooperation between the two sides.
The Government of Cyprus is committed to enhancing co-operation between our business communities in every possible way, he said adding that this UAE-Cyprus Business Forum attended by the strong 50-member delegation including ministers and deputy ministers and business leaders from Cyprus is evidence of this commitment.
Speaking at the UAE-Cyprus Business Forum 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 at Grand Hyatt hotel, H.E. Anastasiades said, “The Cypriot government was keen to build on the historic ties enjoyed by the two countries.”
The President of Cyprus also stated, “The business relations between Cyprus and Dubai go back many years and are based on an enduring friendship between the two countries which composes the essential foundation for their future business cooperation.” “To this end, the UAE and Cyprus have avoidance of double tax treaty in place,” he said. He further stressed, “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.”
H.E. Anastasiades informed, “Cyprus was succeeding and it means business, as the country is currently implementing a series of measures aimed at reducing bureaucracy and encouraging doing business by overhauling the procedure for the speedier issuing of permits and licensing of projects stating that the country is praised by the European Union 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.
The Forum was attended by H.E. Hamad Buamim, President and CEO, Dubai Chamber, H.E. Yiorgos Lakkotrypis, Minister, Ministry of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Harris Georgiades, Cyprus Finance Minister, and Christodoulos Angastiniotis, Chairman, Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency (CIPA)
In his welcome address, H.E. Hisham Al Shirawi, 2nd Vice Chairman, Dubai Chamber, stated, “Dubai and Cyprus have a lot of similarities, especially in the area of tourism and urged Cyprus businesses to benefit from Dubai’s strategic location to reach out to their trading partners in the region.” “We see 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, H.E. 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. It has a growing and diversified economy which will directly benefit Cypriot companies to reach out to over 2 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% or Dhs100m between 2011 and in 2012,” he 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,” said H.E. Al Shirawi.
On his part, H.E. Phidias Pilides, President, Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry, stated, “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 expressed his hope that the Business Forum will be the first step towards an even more stable and constructive base for cooperation between the business people of the two countries. A Dubai Chamber presentation informed that the most prominent exports and re-exports from Cyprus to the UAE included agricultural products such as wheat and meslin flour, Haloumi cheese, fruits and vegetable juices, pharmaceutical products and live animals while those from the UAE to Cyprus consist of aluminium and articles, electrical machinery and equipment and cosmetics.
The presentation also highlighted the areas of synergy between Dubai and Cyprus which it said included IT consulting and services, renewable energy, tourism, medical tourism, Islamic banking and shipping.
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Ruba Abdel Halim
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