Q1 trade deficit widens by 15% as exports fall
The trade deficit widened by 15% to EUR 737.2 mln in in the first quarter of the year, compared to EUR 638.4 mln in the JanuaryMarch period of 2015, according to the Statistical Service Cystat.
Total imports/arrivals dropped to EUR 1,107.1 mln from EUR 1,164 mln in JanuaryMarch 2015. The EU continued to be the main supplier of goods to Cyprus, accounting for EUR 810.8 mln of total imports/arrivals. Leading suppliers within the Union were Greece with EUR 260.3mln, Germany with EUR 96.6mln, Italy with EUR 88.1mln, the United Kingdom with EUR 80.6mln, France with EUR 51.3mln, Spain with EUR 47.0mln, Belgium with EUR 45.6mln and the Netherlands with EUR 45.2mln.
Imports from all other European countries totaled EUR 51.2mln in JanuaryMarch, with Russia with EUR 14.3mln, Switzerland with EUR 12.9mln and Ukraine EUR 9.5mln.
Imports from the rest of the world amounted to EUR 245.1mln, with China at EUR 57.5mln, Israel EUR 38.3mln, Japan with EUR 13.5mln, India with EUR 12.1mln, the United States with EUR 11.8mln, Cuba with EUR 10.6mln, South Korea with EUR 6.7mln, Viet Nam EUR 8.7mln and Taiwan with EUR 5.1mln.
Total exports/dispatches in JanuaryMarch fell to EUR 369.9 mln from EUR 525.6 mln in January-March 2015.
The number of tourists expected to visit Cyprus this year will be close to 3 mln, according to estimates, Energy, Trade and Tourism Minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis told the House Committee on Trade.
According to Lakkotrypis, occupancy reached 100% in some hotels in June and noted that the tourist season had to be prolonged gradually, by a few weeks in March and November, in order to reach the desired target.
“We are satisfied with the results in 2016, but the great challenge is to sustain