Arab in­vestors urged to con­sider en­ergy and tourism - Le­banon trade at 60 mln and rising

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

Ge­orges Che­hwane Pres­i­dent of the Le­banese-Cypriot Business Coun­cil and Chair­man of Plus Prop­er­ties GC Ltd ex­pressed the need to ex­pand and boost the trade in en­ergy, ser­vices and tourism sec­tors be­tween Cyprus and the Arab world.

Dur­ing a ses­sion held within the frame­work of BestIn­vest Cyprus Con­fer­ence and Ex­hi­bi­tion at the Grand Re­sort Ho­tel Li­mas­sol on Mon­day, Che­hwane high­lighted on the ex­cep­tional op­por­tu­ni­ties of­fered by Cyprus to in­vestors par­tic­u­larly from the Arab world.

In his speech, Che­hwane in­sisted that Cyprus is The Is­land of Op­por­tu­ni­ties; not only for the ser­vices of­fered by the is­land or the well-trained per­son­nel op­er­at­ing in the market but as well for the fact that Cyprus is the bridge be­tween Europe and the Arab world.

“There is a high po­ten­tial of Arab en­trepreneurs us­ing the strate­gic lo­ca­tion of Cyprus as a plat­form for their com­pa­nies’ ac­tiv­i­ties to­wards Euro­pean market”.

He added, “to­day, Le­banese and Cypriot con­tinue to main­tain real and strong re­la­tion­ship ex­pand­ing to a larger scale of ac­tiv­i­ties cov­er­ing the eco­nomic and so­cial life of our two coun­tries.”

Among other top­ics, Ge­orges Che­hwane de­clared that Le­banon is one of the main trad­ing part­ners to Cyprus in the Mid­dle East with a to­tal trade ex­ceed­ing the amount of EUR 60 mln in 2012 and still grow­ing.

Che­hwane urged con­fer­ence del­e­gates that tourism must be en­cour­aged be­tween Cyprus and the Arab world by or­gan­is­ing cruises be­tween these coun­tries es­pe­cially now that tourism from Le­banon to Cyprus has been in­creas­ing with the years.

The Pres­i­dent of the Le­banese - Cypriot Business Coun­cil em­pha­sised that the pos­si­bil­i­ties for lu­cra­tive in­vest­ments are be­com­ing even big­ger and en­cour­aged en­trepreneurs and the re­spec­tive Cham­bers of Com­merce to pro­ceed with their ex­plo­ration for business op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Re­fer­ring to Le­banese com­pa­nies op­er­at­ing in Cyprus, mainly in real es­tate, fi­nan­cial ser­vices and com­merce, Che­hwane noted that pro­mot­ing com­mer­cial co­op­er­a­tion be­tween Cyprus and Le­banon has been in­tro­duced, adding, “This is the rea­son that both sides must carry on with their ef­forts to pro­mote ac­tions aimed at ex­chang­ing knowl­edge and ex­pe­ri­ence”.

The en­ergy sec­tor was raised in ses­sion, whereas Che­hwane re­vealed this that Cyprus is in the process of find­ing and ex­plor­ing hy­dro­car­bons in the Ex­clu­sive Zone of the coun­try, re­fer­ring to the dis­cus­sions and agree­ments en­cour­ag­ing the bi­lat­eral co­op­er­a­tion in the en­ergy sec­tor; hop­ing for Le­banon to ac­cel­er­ate de­ci­sions for the coun­try’s wel­fare.

Ac­cord­ing to all in­ter­na­tional fi­nan­cial and eco­nomic in­sti­tu­tions, Cyprus has been well re­cov­er­ing from the cri­sis that hit the is­land in year 2013; giv­ing more con­fi­dence, trust and in­sur­ance to busi­ness­men from around the world to con­trib­ute and in­vest in dif­fer­ent sec­tors of this is­land.

“The Cypriot govern­ment has es­tab­lished a num­ber of in­cen­tives to at­tract for­eign direct in­vest­ments into the coun­try.” He added, “one of these in­cen­tives is the two golden visa pro­grammes: one for per­ma­nent res­i­dency and one for cit­i­zen­ship. These two schemes have been per­ceived among the fastest, sim­plest and most ef­fi­cient at grant­ing a res­i­dency per­mit and sec­ond pass­port while at­tract­ing a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of in­vestors look­ing to seize such op­por­tu­ni­ties”.

Dur­ing his speech, Ge­orges Che­hwane re­vealed his faith in Cyprus while point­ing out to the achieve­ments Plus Prop­er­ties has ac­com­plished in this is­land dur­ing the past few years.

As the Chair­man of the real es­tate com­pany, Che­hwane spoke of the eight res­i­den­tial projects un­der de­vel­op­ment within the ar­eas of Lar­naca and Li­mas­sol; among which three projects are al­ready un­der high speed con­struc­tion and to be de­liv­ered soon.

Ge­orges Che­hwane con­cluded his speech by re­veal­ing the role and ob­jec­tives of the Le­banese Cypriot Business Coun­cil and men­tioned sev­eral events con­tribut­ing in the eco­nomic growth of Cyprus such as: The Casino launch­ing, the new mari­nas projects in Ayia Napa, Pro­taras, Lar­naca and Paphos.

“The launch­ing of Ayia Napa Ma­rina was noth­ing but a suc­cess”, said Che­hwane, the ex­trac­tion of gas and oil sched­uled to be im­ple­mented very soon, the new amend­ments on the cit­i­zen­ship and the per­ma­nent res­i­dency pro­grammes at­tract­ing fur­ther in­vestors es­pe­cially the Arabs con­sid­er­ing the in­sta­bil­ity in the re­gion and last but not least, the at­trac­tive tax sys­tem which is in­spir­ing many com­pa­nies to re­lo­cate their head­quar­ters or even open branches in the Repub­lic of Cyprus.

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