Address by President of the Republic, Mr Nicos Anastasiades, at the Cyprus-Russia business dinner organized by CIPA

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23/10/2017 22:01
Address by President of the Republic, Mr Nicos Anastasiades, at the Cyprus-Russia business dinner organized by CIPA

It is a truly great pleasure to welcome you to the “Cyprus-Russia” business dinner. Indeed, I am honoured to be amongst so many esteemed guests. Your presence is a testament to the long-standing excellent relations between Cyprus and Russia, which are undoubtedly stronger than ever; not just at the political level, but also at the business and people-to people level.

I am convinced, dear friends, that strong business relations, is often what makes the difference.

To say that Russia and Cyprus have close relations is an understatement. Our two countries and peoples historically enjoy deep political, cultural and religious links, which have proven to be resilient through time and numerous challenges.

One of the most distinctive and important characteristics of the relationship between the two countries is that it has never remained static, and it has never been allowed to weaken, but instead, it has evolved through the years and has always remained as significant and as relevant as ever.

Today, people to people contacts are unprecedented. Everywhere in Cyprus, Russians contribute to every aspect of our lives: to business, to tourism, to enriching our culture and lifestyle, and most importantly, to the building of know-how and expertise in areas such as business, technology and innovation. Tourism from Russia to Cyprus has reached staggering numbers, amounting to almost the population of Cyprus –over 800,000 Russian tourists visited Cyprus in 2017.

This working visit to Moscow upon an invitation from President Putin follows my official visit to the country in 2015, and aims to further enhance the bond between Russia and Cyprus. I am certain that it will be as fruitful as my 2015 visit. Together with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Transport and Public Works and the Government Spokesman I have just met Prime Minister Medvedev, with whom we held in an exceptionally warm climate productive discussions. I will be meeting President Putin tomorrow for consultations and we will be signing a number of important agreements and memorandum of understanding in an array of fields. In doing so we will enhance even further our bilateral relations and cooperation.

Tonight’s exceptional event is a great opportunity for me, for all of us here, to express our deepest appreciation to all of you for your ongoing support to Cyprus, both through times of prosperity and through times of hardship. There are very few friendships that one can truly count on, and my dear friends, I say this with the deepest respect and sincerity, the friendship between Russia and Cyprus is one such example.

The fact that Cyprus has forged a position as an international business hub would not have been possible without Russia’s contribution to our FDI inflows, as well as the know-how and expertise of our professional services sector, which has gained a lot through the experience of collaborating with Russian investors.

Cyprus is entering a new period of stability and growth. There are major opportunities for growth in various sectors, such as shipping, tourism, large infrastructure projects, the filming industry, education, health, research, innovation and, of course, energy.

Russia and its economy continue to act as a catalyst for growth for the Cyprus economy, while Cyprus plays an important role as a gateway for Russia to Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Doing business with Russia is therefore of utmost importance to our countries today, just as it has been for decades.

While Cyprus provides an excellent platform for conducting and managing business activities from Russia to Europe and vice versa, the level of collaboration has been and can be enhanced to much more than that.

Opportunities in the areas of innovation, technology and health, are extremely promising for both countries. A combination of the many competitive advantages that we each have to offer can create a truly unique and unrivalled offering. For this reason, we have embarked on a number of specific initiatives in these sectors, such as a growing collaboration between Skolkovo and stakeholders from Cyprus involved in research and innovation.

The presentation that will follow by the Director General of CIPA, Mrs Natasa Peilidou, will provide ample evidence of the advantages Cyprus offers as an investment destination and the key initiatives of the enhancement of the Cyprus-Russia relations.

From our side, I want to personally assure you that we will continue to encourage and support the close ties between Russia and Cyprus, allowing them to become ever stronger. We shall strive to promote new measures to ensure that the attractiveness of the investment environment is constantly upgraded. Our goal is to offer Russian companies seeking growth in international markets, a reliable and competitive partner.

At a time of political instability and uncertainty in the Middle East and North Africa, the Russian business community can rely on Cyprus as a reliable and trustworthy partner, both in political and business terms.

I hope that this evening will be an opportunity for all of us to discuss and exchange ideas on how we can enhance our already excellent relationship. Through the exchange of views and ideas, we can ensure that our relationship will continue to grow even stronger and even more meaningful.

I would like to thank the Cyprus Investment Promoting Agency for organizing this event and RCB for supporting it. Special thanks to each and every one of you for being here with us this evening.