'Cyprus remains a reliable business partner'

The Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Praxoula Antoniadou and the Chairman of the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry Fedias Pelides stressed the great prospects for further strengthening business relations between Cyprus and Israel following the discovery of natural gas deposits in the EEZ of the two countries.

Antoniadou and Pelides held a press conference on the results of a business forum organised in Tel Aviv on January 24 by the Ministry of Commerce and the CCCI.

''At this stage, big prospects are emerging following the discovery of hydrocarbons in the region but we must not forget the basic traditional sectors of the economy because growth must be dispersed in various sectors,'' Antoniadou said.

The Minister referred to her contacts with Israeli counterparts in Jerusalem as well as the Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu who will pay an official visit to Cyprus on February 16.

She noted that apart from the energy sector, she and her interlocutors examined issues concerning trade relations, air and sea transport, strengthening tourism between the two countries, as well as attracting tourists from remote countries through the establishment of a common tourist destination which would include Cyprus, Israel, Greece and perhaps Egypt.

''Towards this direction it has been agreed to set up a steering group which would examine certain ways with which we could promote this combined tourist destination,'' Antoniadou added.

On his part, Pelides said ''the momentum created by the visit to Israel ensures big prospects for the future,'' adding ''Israel could be one of the main trade and business partners of Cyprus in the near future.''

Replying to a question, Pelides said apart from the energy sector, he sensed great interest on the Israeli side in real estate and land development sector. He noted that Israeli businesspeople are greatly interested in tourism and asked whether Cyprus will proceed with the construction of a casino.

He also referred to the prospects of cooperation in the medical field, adding that Cypriot Minister of Health is planning to visit Israel to explore these prospects.

Christakis Papavasiliou, Chairman of the Cyprus-Israel business association, also noted that the visit was successful. ''The purpose has been achieved, the message has been sent and the businesspeople will create the right conditions for cooperation and further development of trade relations between the two countries,'' he concluded.

Source: Financial Mirror

Published on 27 January, 2012
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