President says relations with India have potential to grow even further

The relations between Cyprus and India have a significant potential to grow even further, particularly on key fields such as banking and finance, shipping and transportation, education, science and technology, pharmaceuticals, renewable energy and tourism, President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades has said.

Addressing on Thursday the India-Cyprus Business Forum, in New Delhi, where he pays a state visit, the President said that the aim is to shed light on the unique investment opportunities Cyprus � an EU member state at a strategic location at the cross roads of Europe, North Africa and Asia � has to offer, and to exchange ideas, establish contacts and channels of communication, which will enable us to achieve a strategic re-orientation of our economic partnership.

Saying that the Government is committed to the implementation of a series of specific incentives, aiming to further facilitating investment and establishing a business-friendly environment, he encouraged foreign investors, including Indian investors, to invest in projects in Cyprus, which the Presidency can promote through its fast track mechanism for receiving the relevant licences within short and specific timeframes.

He also said that during his visit to New Delhi, a number of bilateral agreements and Memoranda of Understanding will be signed in the fields of Merchant Shipping, Air Services, Agricultural Co-operation, education and culture.

Referring to shipping, he said that more than 1,600 registered vessels with over 23 million gross tonnages are registered under the Cyprus flag.

Cyprus has the 11th largest merchant fleet in the world and the 3rd largest merchant fleet in the EU. Cyprus’s Ship management Centre is amongst the top three in the world, and, the largest third party Ship management Centre in the EU, he pointed out.

The President also referred to the recently introduced Start-up Visa Scheme, under which startups from India can easily locate in Cyprus and have easy access to the EU market.

Referring to tourism, he said that the Protocol on Air Services Agreement to be signed on Friday in New Delhi can pave the way for establishing direct connectivity between the two countries, thus increasing the so far very modest number of tourism exchanges if one considers the potential that this sector holds.

He also said that following the recent introduction of tax incentives for investment in innovation and start-up companies, Cyprus will soon also be introducing an incentives scheme specific to the filming industry.

We welcome production companies from India to consider Cyprus, and we commit to ensure that their experience, should they choose our island as a filming location, will be as smooth as possible, he said.

In his address, the President referred to the Cypriot economy which is now emerging stronger than ever from an unprecedented crisis and said that the banking sector has undergone an ambitious restructuring, and now stands on a much healthier footing.

Cyprus, he added, despite its small size, offers exceptional comparative advantages as a major center of international business, but also as a base from which inroads into regional markets can be achieved.

The unique combination of EU membership, our common Anglo-Saxon legal framework, the beneficial tax regime and the highly-skilled workforce, all contribute to Cyprus’ establishment as an attractive investment destination, offering significant opportunities and easy access not only to European markets but also to those of North Africa, the Near and Middle East, the Gulf region and beyond, he pointed out.

Referring to Mahatma Gandhi, he said that the Father of the Indian Nation was very much an inspiration during Cyprus’s struggle against the colonial British rule in the 1950s.

In fact Gandhi himself maintained a strong personal relationship with Cyprus following Cyprus’s independence, he concluded.

Addressing the Forum, Minister of Finance of India ShriArjun Ram Meghwal, referred to the prospects of further enhancing bilateral relations with Cyprus and expressed the conviction that the forum will pave the way for more investments on both sides.

The forum was also addressed by Cypriot Ministers and representatives of Cypriot business associations.

Indian businessmen also took the floor, expressing their interest in investing in Cyprus in the field of energy.

Source: Cyprus News Agency