Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and HE the Minister of Energy and Industry of Qatar Dr Mohamed bin Saleh al-Sada, along with other top Qatari dignitaries at a ceremony in Doha yesterday.
Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades has called on Qatari businessmen to explore investment opportunities in his country and create trade and economic partnerships between Qatari and Cypriot companies, stressing the readiness of his country to encourage all Qatari investments in this area.
During a speech he gave today at the opening session of Qatar-Cyprus Business Forum, President Anastasiades confirmed that the two countries share a close friendship relations, based on mutual trust and respect, noting that his visit to Doha comes as Cyprus paid great attention to develop and strengthen these relations.
He highlighted the potential of his country in the field of energy, industry and tourism, adding that Cyprus’ discovery of natural gas reserves in its special economic zone will provide great opportunities for investment and cooperation in the field of energy and will open the door to a number of opportunities to promote co-operation between Cypriot companies and their Qatari counterparts, expressing the hope that this would provide an opportunity for Cyprus to benefit from the experience of Qatar in this area as Qatar is witnessing a remarkable progress in this sector.
President Anastasiades explained that there are promising opportunities for growth in many other sectors in Cyprus, including maritime transport, tourism, large-scale development projects, education, health, research and renewable energy, pointing out that the discussions held with supreme bodies in Qatar explored the prospects of cooperation in energy and other sectors in which Cyprus can benefit from Qatar’s experience, in order to strengthen and expand co-operation between Doha and Nicosia and to launch a new era of prosperity for both the countries.
He added that the Republic of Cyprus had recently made an assessment of the global economic challenges, particularly facing its economy, stressing that his country followed in this regard, a path to take various measures aimed at preserving the unique and high-level privileges, and has also sought to take advantage of the opportunities throughout the region.
For his part, Qatar Chamber President HE Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim al-Thani, said the Cypriot President’s honouring of the Qatar-Cypriot Business Forum earns it additional importance and increases the confidence of the attendees that it would be a real start-up for establishing active and positive business relations, mainly as the State of Qatar enjoys an investment climate that enabled it to be among the most attractive countries for foreign investment in the region.
He indicated that growth is evident in the field of construction and comprehensive development in the country at all levels, saying this will open the door for many international companies to enter the Qatari market, taking advantage of this advancement that has made the State of Qatar pass through the most prosperous of times, thanks to the wise leadership of HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani. The President of the Chamber added that the State of Qatar has made great strides in its development drive on the basis of Qatar National Vision 2030, which seeks to harness all its resources to achieve sustainable economic, social, cultural and environmental development to benefit its people, as well as the peoples of the region and its neighbouring countries.
In addition, he said, the new challenges posed by Qatar’s winning the hosting of the 2022 World Cup, requires harnessing all the potential and capabilities to meet these goals and attracting business owners from all over the world to explore investment opportunities available in the State of Qatar.
HE Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim al-Thani said relations between Qatar and Cyprus witnessed a quantum development and the exchange of high-level visits resulted in the signing of many agreements in various fields, stressing that the visit of HH the Father Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani to Cyprus in April 2010 was the highest point in the march of relations between the two countries. But he pointed out that the volume of trade exchange between the two countries is still modest and did not live up to the aspirations of the two peoples, in light of the potential and facilities granted by each of the State of Qatar and the Republic of Cyprus.
Sheikh Khalifa said yesterday’s meeting provided an opportunity for business owners of the two countries to explore investment opportunities in Qatar and Cyprus, and revitalise bilateral relations.
Cyprus is looking forward to sign a 10-year contract to buy billions of cubic feet of LNG, and progress in negotiations with Qatar in this regard has been achieved.
Cyprus Minister of Energy, Industry and Tourism Giorgos Lakkotrypis said: “Europe views the Middle East region as an alternative way for the import of gas. Therefore the market is open to Qatari companies — both public and private — to exploit these proposed projects, because their future is guaranteed.”
The Cypriot minister gave a presentation on the economic situation in his country, in which he focused on the recent oil and gas discoveries in his country, which is seeking to become an energy centre in the Eastern Mediterranean region. Cyprus has drawn up a strategy for the sustainable exploration, construction of an LNG plant and a centre for logistic services in the country, as well as for attracting international companies to facilitate trade between the East and the West.
He also referred to a number of massive economic projects, border agreements with Egypt and neighboring countries, in addition to the determination of the profits in the event of the new oil explorations in 13 fields, including six in which work has already started through a consortium run by Italian company ENI and another field run by the French company Total.
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