A Memorandum of Understanding for cooperation in science and technology was signed, at the Presidential Palace, on Tuesday, between Cyprus Deputy Minister to the President of Cyprus for Research, Innovation & Digital Policy Kyriacos Kokkinos and Keith Krach, US Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment.
In statements after the signing ceremony Krach spoke of the importance of the word “change” in inventing the future. “US and Cyprus can help invent that future by combining our strengths,” he said.
“We both recognise that there are important synergies and mutual beneficial opportunities for us working together. Leveraging America’s technical and scientific capabilities with Cyprus’ strategic capabilities as well as great geographical location and leadership in sectors like FinTech,” he noted.
The Republic of Cyprus, the US official said, “enjoys incredible advantages as it develops a 21st century, based economy, including a highly educated and multi-lingual workshop, outstanding research institutions and universities and a central location with excellent transportation links.”
Referring to the MoU he pointed out that another word which represents it is “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,” he said.
“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 such as transparency, accountability respect for rule of law, respect for human rights, respect for the planet, respect for property of all kinds and also the rigor and integrity in scientific inquiry,” he noted.
He also spoke of the importance of digital security, data privacy and protecting business information.
According to Krach, “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 Under Secretary further spoke of the importance of 5G clean infrastructure.
“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, and that is why 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 said.
Referring to the advantages, he said that there is strength in numbers as 35 nations are already taking part in the 5G EU clean toolbox.
The other one, he noted, “would be that it is vital for Cyprus’ national security.”. “As Assistant Cooper (Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs R. Clarke Cooper) was discussing yesterday it is also very crucial for intelligence sharing between the US and Cyprus,” he said.
“Being key partners in science and technology, in particular when it comes to addressing global challenges, Cyprus and the US are deeply interconnected and have a lot to offer each other; on one hand, the United States is a world leader in this sphere of activity, while Cyprus is rapidly emerging into a regional business hub in the critical region of the Eastern Mediterranean.” Kokkinos said in his statements.
He continued noting that “we have recently embarked on an exciting journey for the accelerated enhancement of our country into a knowledge-based economy, with digital technology and scientific research being key levers and enablers for this transformation.”
“We aim to lay the foundations for long-term and sustainable economic growth, the benefits of which will be maximized with time,” Kokkinos pointed out, adding that “following a citizen- and business-centric approach, we aim to offer superior digital public services, while boosting our tech and telecommunications infrastructure.”
He further assured that “we place 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.”
“I would like to assure you and the US government, that we are taking all necessary measures, policies and technological decisions so that our communications and digital infrastructure is secure and robust, for ensuring the smooth and accelerated deployment of our digital transformation as well as establishing our country as a strong regional player in the science and technology sphere,” he said.
To this end, he added, “strategic and proactive collaboration is key.”
The Cypriot Deputy Minister further expressed “our sincerest appreciation for the US continued and multidimensional support to our efforts, as well as my sincere hope that the partnership between Cyprus and the United States of America will be further strengthened not only in the fields of science and technology, but across the full spectrum of bilateral relations.”