Cyprus and the US are stepping up their cooperation in science and technology in areas of 5G security and FinTech for economic growth.
A Memorandum was signed in Nicosia between Deputy Minister for Research Innovation & Digital Policy Kyriacos Kokkinos and US Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment, Keith Krach.
The MOU was signed Tuesday after talks between the two sides on Clean Network, 5G security, the Blue Dot Network, and common economic and national security objectives.
“There are important synergies and mutually beneficial opportunities for us in working together, leveraging America’s technical and scientific capabilities with Cyprus’s strategic geographical location and leadership in sectors like FinTech,” Krach said.
The US undersecretary said: “By cooperating on science and technology efforts, by acting on our shared values, we can build a better future together”.
“US and Cyprus can help invent that future by combining our strengths.”
Kokkinos said the time has come to inject new momentum and build a more substantive relationship with the US.
Krach said the MoU represents “trust.”
“If change is the most powerful word in any language then trust is certainly the most important word in any language and it is the basis of every relationship personal, business or otherwise.
“You buy from people you trust; you partner with people you trust and the US trusts Cyprus because it respects the values that underpin our democratic society.”
He also spoke of the importance of digital security, data privacy and protecting business information.
“It is essential that the US and the Republic of Cyprus work together as trusted partners to protect our citizens from those companies and countries we deem untrustworthy.”
The US official stressed the importance of 5G-clean infrastructure, implying that Cyprus should not use suspect Chinese equipment in its network, although he didn’t mention China.
US regulators say Chinese tech firm Huawei poses a national security risk, alleging that the Chinese government could use Huawei equipment to spy. The company has repeatedly denied those allegations.
“The Republic of Cyprus has the potential to be a regional hub for innovation and tech services if it makes these investments in the future to use only trusted telecommunications, and that is starting now,” said Krach.
“We are excited to have Cyprus on the path to the 5G EU clean toolbox which means you would be joining the clean network, which is comprised of like-minded countries and companies that are committed to using only trusted vendors of 5G,” he added.
He said 35 nations are already taking part in the 5G EU clean toolbox.
“It is vital for Cyprus’ national security… also very crucial for intelligence sharing between the US and Cyprus.”
Kokkinos assured that Cyprus places “great emphasis on safeguarding the integrity, privacy, security and resilience of our digital infrastructure, data, communication networks and services, including the security of the supply, deployment, and operation of 5G networks.”