H.E. Mr Nicos Anastasiades, Hon`ble President of the Republic of Cyprus urged Indian industry to invest in the country`s key areas including banking and finance, shipping and transportation, education, science and technology, pharmaceuticals, renewable energy and tourism in order to stimulate trade and investments between the two countries said at `India –Cyprus Business Session` jointly organized by ASSOCHAM, CII and FICCI.
The President said, “I am pleased to inform that during my 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”. “I believe that these areas of co-operation are some of those that have the potential to significantly boost our economic and commercial exchanges”.
He said, Cyprus`s shipping industry has been one of the most successful export services of our country, as Cyprus enjoys the privilege of being one of the most influential global hubs for ship owning and ship management services, and home to some of the world`s most prominent names in shipping; offering competitive ship registration costs and favourable tax regime for ship management and other international business enterprises.
The education sector also has the capacity of becoming another significant area of collaboration between Cyprus and India. The three state Universities, and the five highly esteemed private universities offer a wide range of courses and degree programmes, attracting foreign students from all over the world, rendering the island a major educational centre in the region.
Another field of great prospect relates to science and technology, on which India possesses much-needed and much-welcomed experience and expertise, which could greatly benefit Cyprus. Attracting talent is very important for boosting our entrepreneurial and start-up ecosystem. For this reason, we have very recently introduced an attractive “Start-up Visa Scheme”, under which startups from India can easily locate in Cyprus and have easy access to the EU market.
Other areas of co-operation which could be actively explored are those of renewable energy on which Cyprus has a long-standing expertise, and Tourism, Mr Nicos Anastasiades added.
In this respect, the Protocol on Air Services Agreement to be signed on Friday in New Delhi can pave the way for establishing direct connectivity between our two countries; thus increasing the so far very modest number of tourism exchanges if one considers the potential that this sector holds. A new strategy recently completed aims to diversify and enrich the tourist product. With the first luxury casino resort, the marinas and other major projects this is a space to watch out for new investments, said the Cyprus President.
“Cyprus is now emerging stronger than ever from an unprecedented crisis and our journey along the road to recovery has been faster than anyone could predict, enjoying one of the fastest growing economies of the EU; currently just short of 3% of the GDP”.
“We recognise the importance of maintaining sound public finances. We are committed to maintain a stable and competitive tax regime. We shall continue to invest in our human capital, supporting higher education and research”.
In particular, the Government has developed a new legal framework, which establishes the procedure of direct licensing of large investments, and it applies on pilot cases a fast track licensing mechanism for investment projects. I would encourage 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 licenses within short and specific timeframes.
Mr Sandeep Jajodia, President, ASSOCHAM said, “Cyprus is not only an attractive investment destination but could be used as a gateway to EU for Indian businesses. The other area where India can contribute is imparting and providing host of digital skills and services. Besides, India can provide world class healthcare facilities which will complement your booming tourism sector”.
Mr. Deep Kapuria, Chairman, CII Central Europe Committee, and Chairman, Hi-Tech Group said that Cyprus location in the Eastern Mediterranean at the crossroads of three continents gives it easy access to the markets of West Asia, North Africa, Russia and Southern Europe. It can act as a gateway to these regions for Indian companies, particularly the EU of which it is a member state.
Mr. Rakesh Bakshi, Sr. FICCI Executive Committee Member and Chairman & Managing Director, RRB Energy Ltd added, enriching and broad-basing our economic relations would hold us good and role of tourism and hospitality sector can play an integral role in catapulting our relations to next level. Information technology & information technology enabled services, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and R&D, to mention a few will certainly and needed verve to our economic engagements.