President Christofias Says Cyprus Government Has Intensified Efforts to Develop Bilateral Cooperation With New Partners in Trade, Tourism and Finance
Athens, Nov 27 – Cyprus President Demetris Christofias said that the Cyprus government has intensified its efforts to develop bilateral cooperation with new partners in the fields of trade, tourism and the finance sector and continues its effort to further develop these relations with its current partners.
Addressing a seminar in Athens under the title “Cyprus – An International Business Centre, Reinforcing Cyprus-Greece Business Relations,” President Christofias said that trade exchanges between Cyprus and Greece reached 1.3 billion euro, adding that there is a trade imbalance at Cyprus’s expense, in the tune of 896 million euro.
After Cyprus’s accession to the EU and the full liberalization of the policy of foreign investment by EU member states, he said, investments by Greek investors in Cyprus reached 2.4 billion euro in 2007.
The Cypriot President said links between the Greek and the Cypriot economies are very close, noting that Cypriot entrepreneurs are doing business in Greece, while joint ventures have been set up in the Balkan region.
He also noted the cooperation in the maritime field and especially the fact that part of the EU merchant fleet comprises ships under the Cypriot and the Greek flags, something which creates common interests and the basis for joint efforts to draft EU policies in this field.
President Christofias said that stability, dynamism, flexibility and high growth rates have rendered the Cypriot economy one of the most robust economies in Europe. He noted that unemployment is not expected to exceed 3% while growth rates are expected to reach 3% for 2008 and 2.9% for 2009. He also noted that public debt has been significantly reduced to 46% of the GDP.
He noted that the sound structures of the Cypriot economy have contributed to the confinement of the fallout of current challenges and especially of the economic crisis.
The President said that the Cyprus government did not have to intervene to boost financial organizations, adding however that this should not lead to complacency.
“Without doubt if the world recession goes on for a long period, it will affect Cyprus, a country with an open economy which is based to a great extent on tourism and services,” he pointed out.
The President also referred to joint business cooperation in the Middle East and the Arab countries, saying both Cyprus and Greece will benefit from it.