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Commerce Minister outlines Cyprus' advantages
2002-10-23 14:27:06

Nicosia, Oct 23 (CNA) ? Commerce, Industry and Tourism Minister, Nicos Rolandis, has said Cyprus offers a number of advantages as regards direct foreign investment.

In his address on Tuesday at a meeting of American businessmen during his visit to the US, Rolandis said that when Cyprus becomes a full member of the European Union it will constitute the EU's frontier in the south and in the east through which trade with the EU and the Middle East can be effected.|

''Cyprus' accession presents therefore an important window of opportunity for the region, which will mark a new era in the relations between Cyprus, the EU and the Mediterranean partners", the minister added.

The government, he said, promotes and maintains favourable investment conditions that permit entrepreneurs to participate directly in the process of economic development. For this reason, it has ratified the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes.

Noting that the US is the biggest supplier of Cyprus, Rolandis said trade has expanded significantly in the past decade and the total turnover reached 422 m. dollars in 2001. Exports of Cyprus products to the US amounted to 17 m. while Cyprus imports were of the level of 405 m. The main products exported are footwear, clothing, Portland cement, halloumi cheese and fish.

Speaking at a press conference for the local Greek media, Rolandis said Cyprus has ''reached a junction in its history where accession (to the EU), a Cyprus settlement and its economic future will be determined''.

On tourism, with arrivals declining by 12 per cent, Rolandis said the government has taken additional measures in the form of promoting the local tourist product, the cost of which come to 25 m. dollars.

Regarding direct flights from Cyprus to the US, Rolandis said there is an effort to establish joint flights with Middle East Airlines on the basis of co- chairmanship.

Commenting on his visit to the US, Rolandis referred to the agreement signed for cooperation on Science and Technology with State University of New York at Albany, as part of its efforts to develop High Technology Industry on the island.

He said the Cypriot delegation already in the US, will visit the west coast and hold talks with more universities, and Southern California University, which is one of the leading academic institutions in the field of technology.

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