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CYPRUS: Nicosia and Cairo talks focus on investment, energy and tourism

10 September, 2018

Improving activity in investment, energy and tourism topped the agenda in talks that Egyptian parliament speaker Ali Abdel-Aal Sayed Ahmed had in Cyprus on Tuesday.


Heading a parliamentary delegation, Abdel-Aal held talks with Energy, Commerce and Tourism Minister George Lakkotrypis and Finance Minister Harris Georgiades.

Afterwards, Georgiades said that Egypt is a very important country with an important regional economy which is significant for Cyprus as well.
                                                       
And the Egyptian delegation stressed that Cairo does not need economic support, but serious investments.
 
Georgiades said that Cyprus as a country where business and financial services are provided and as an international financial centre can play a role in further developing the Egyptian economy, and these prospects were discussed.
 
Also discussed was updating of the agreement of double-taxation avoidance between Cyprus and Egypt, which can facilitate the expansion of their economic and investment relations.
 
Georgiades said other such moves can be promoted to improve bilateral relations both at the political and economic level.
 
The Egyptian parliamentary officials discussed with Lakkotrypis the cooperation between Cyprus and Egypt in the field of energy.
 
According to sources, the Egyptian side gave its commitment for further cooperation, while the Cypriot side gave assurances to supply natural gas from the Aphrodite gas field to Egypt.

Developments are soon to be expected regarding Cyprus’ inter-state agreement with Egypt on this issue.

The two countries have signed a preliminary agreement to pipe natural gas from Cyprus to Egypt to be liquefied at Egypt’s LNG facilities and re-exported to Europe and other markets.

Aphrodite, discovered by Houston-based Noble Energy, is estimated to hold 4.5 trillion cubic feet of gas.

The Egyptian parliamentary officials were especially keen on the EuroAfrica Interconnector, that will connect the electricity grids of Egypt, Cyprus and Greece with Europe and will be inaugurated in November in Cairo.

The 2,000MW project is an energy highway bridging Africa and Europe, with a total length of 1707 km. It creates a reliable alternative route for the transfer of electric energy to and from Europe.

The EuroAfrica Interconnector enjoys a high rating by the European Union, falls within the EU energy policy and contributes to the Union’s energy targets.

On tourism, discussions with Lakkotrypis focused on efforts to increase flights connectivity between Cyprus and Egypt, currently operated only by EgyptAir, and the resumption of cruises connecting Cyprus, Greece and Egypt -- an issue that has already been discussed at the trilateral level. 

One of the biggest Egyptian investments in Cyprus is the Ayia Napa marina, a joint venture between the Sawiris and Caramondani companies, while in the pharmaceuticals sector, local manufacturer Medochemie recently inaugurated a new production plant in Egypt.