There are great prospects for advancing the financial interests of Cyprus in Southeast Asia, Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides said on Thursday, while noting the potential for increasing trade and attracting investment from the region.
Christodoulides was the key speaker at the joint event “Exploring Business Avenues in East and South East Asia” organized in Nicosia by the Cyprus-East and South East Asia Business Association and the Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency (Invest Cyprus).
Addressing the same event, the Chairman of Invest Cyprus, Michalis P. Michael, and the Chairman of the Cyprus-East and South East Asia Business Association, Stelios Demetriou, also agreed that this is a very promising market that offers great prospects for investment.
“This is clearly a cluster of countries which Cyprus ought to study more carefully and strengthen cooperation on all levels,” said the Foreign Minister in his speech.
He welcomed, moreover, the decision of the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry to establish the Business Association, and expressed his confidence that it will contribute decisively in fostering cooperation with emerging markets, such as Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar, as well as with more advanced economies, like Japan and Singapore.
Christodoulides referred inter alia to the trade agreements which the EU concluded with countries from the region, such as with Japan and Singapore. He added that efforts continue to conclude a Trans Regional EU-ASEAN Trade Initiative. “In all these developments and discussions Cyprus is active, promoting its interests and utilising to the maximum the potential from the EU negotiating power and from its membership in the great European family” the Minister noted.
On a bilateral level, Christodoulides said that Nicosia strengthens its relations with countries from the region, making particular refence to Japan and the opening of the Embassy of Japan to Cyprus last year. He added that Cyprus will also open an Embassy in Tokyo.
Christodoulides referred moreover to the decision of the Foreign Ministry to upgrade the economic diplomacy aspect into a high priority policy, in an effort to modernize and restructure the Foreign Ministry.
The Ministry secured in 2017 funding from the European Commission, worth €135,000 in order to develop a long-term strategy for Cyprus’ Economic Diplomacy. Christodoulides said that the goal is to design a comprehensive plan for the Cypriot model of economic diplomacy, that will help to identify traditional and new areas of economic activity that may be promoted abroad.
According to a relevant announcement, Chairman of Invest Cyprus Michalis P. Michael said that the aim is to penetrate new markets that were not explored before. In this regard, Southeast Asia is part of the organisation’s revised strategy and Action Plan for 2019, he added.
The Chairman of the Cyprus-East and South East Asia Business Association Stelios Demetriou referred to their aim to explore new economic prospects in Japan and other developing countries in Southeast Asia. These markets, he said, present new and promising opportunities for our future business services and investments.