President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades was informed on Monday on the course of the investment programmes carried out by Bahrain’s Economic Development Council.
A presidency statement said President Anastasiades, on an official visit to Bahrain, was accompanied by Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Christodoulides, Energy, Commerce and Industry Minister Natasa Pilides, Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment Minister Costas Kadis, Tourism Deputy Minister Savvas Perdios and Government Spokesperson Marios Pelekanos.
President Anastasiades and the Cypriot entourage were informed by the Council’s director, Khalid Embrahim Humaidan on the course of the investment programmes and its future actions, as well as the fundamental priority sectors of the council which include telecommunications, tourism, construction, education, health services, financial and economic services and real estate.
Energy Minister Pilides referred to Cyprus’ comparative advantages as an investment ad business destination, stressing the opportunities provided in a continued competitive environment.
She referred to the Memorandum of Understanding that will be signed between the two countries on Monday to boost commerce and suggested holding a business forum in Cyprus where the business communities of both countries can examine ways to cooperate.
She highlighted the incentives to attract investments and business activities in Cyprus, noting that in Cyprus half a billion euros will be invested in the green economy in the coming years through the EU Recovery and Resilience Plan.
She further referred to efforts to increase exports and expressed the conviction that ways will be found to further boost economic and trade cooperation between Bahrain and Cyprus.
Cypriot ministers asked clarifications during the meeting. To a question by Foreign Minister Christodoulides , Humaidan said the Council is involved in ten international markets with a budget of tens of millions annually.
To a question on the council’s plans to develop the coastal areas of Bahrain and tourism, the country’s Tourism Minister Zayed Rashid Al Zayani referred to the planning to develop the hotel industry and pointed out that they are considering the expansion of the country’s national airline, Gulf Air, worldwide.
Cyprus was one of the first destinations we returned to after the lockdown imposed due to the pandemic, he said, noting there is a very successful route to Cyprus. We have, said Al Zayani, connectivity with Cyprus and Greece via Gulf Air, adding they are considering Cyprus becoming a hub to Europe and perhaps to the USA.
“We are looking at access to the US market and one of the options is through direct flights or through a transit point in Europe," said the Bahrain Minister of Tourism, adding that all this will be discussed during the afternoon meeting he will have with Perdios.
President met King of Bahrain
The President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades met Monday with the King of Bahrain Hamad bin Isa Khalifa, in the framework of his official visit to Bahrain and discussed among other things the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean, the developments on the Cyprus problem and bilateral relations.
According to a press release by Cyprus Presidency, President Anastasiades was officially welcomed at the Gudhaibiya Palace by King Hamad bin Isa Khalifa, while a coat of arms guard was paying honours and the National Anthems of the two countries were performed.
Later on the President of the Republic and the King of Bahrain held official talks with the participation of the delegations of the two countries.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Christodoulides, the Minister of Energy, Commerce and Industry Natasa Pilides, the Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and the Environment Costas Kadis, the Deputy Minister of Tourism Savvas Perdios and the Government Spokesman Marios Pelekanos participated in the talks.
Among the issues on the agenda were the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean, the developments on the Cyprus problem, bilateral relations mainly on matters pertaining to commerce, renewable resources, agriculture, Climate Change, tourism and the connectivity between the two countries, and EU-Bahrain relations.
They also discussed President Anastasiades` initiative on Climate Change and the reciprocal support between the two countries at international fora. President Anastasiades also extended an invitation to the King of Bahrain to visit Cyprus.
Signing of an agreement and an MoU
Following the talks, an Agreement and a Memorandum of Understanding were signed between the two countries.
In particular, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cyprus and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bahrain Dr Abdullatif bin Rashid Alzayani signed an Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Cyprus and the Government of the Kingdom of Bahrain on the exemption of visa requirements for holders of diplomatic, special, and service passports.
Also, a Memorandum on Economic and Technical Cooperation was signed by the Minister of Energy, Commerce and Industry and the Minister of Finance and National Economy of Bahrain Shaikh Salman Bin Khalifa Al-Khalifa.
The cooperation will include, the areas of industry, construction, agriculture, transport, telecommunications, hydrocarbon activities, education, scientific research, technology, tourism, investment, financial Services, and professional services.