|Speech by H.E. Ambassador Liu Xinsheng at the dinner of Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry|
|(2014-11-13, Hilton Park Hotel)|
Distinguished Mr. Lakkotrypis, Minister of Energy, commerce, industry and tourism,
It is a great pleasure for me to attend your dinner this evening. I would like to thank Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Cyprus-China Business Association, for their contribution in advancing business ties between China and Cyprus. The Chamber and the Association have been fulfilling their mission to serve their members and to play a significant role in acting as a business bridge between Chinese and Cypriot business communities. Chinese Embassy salutes you for a job well done and will continue to support your valuable efforts.
Despite autumn is giving way to winter, the temperature of China - Cyprus relationship is rising rather than falling. The development of bilateral exchanges and cooperation maintained a strong momentum in the whole year of 2014. Chinese warship's first-time visit to Cyprus helped build deeper understanding on both militaries and lay a solid foundation for our broader exchanges in the future. The establishment of the Confucius Institute in Cyprus raised our educational and cultural links to a new level and strengthened the bonds of friendship. The resounding success of Cyprus-China cultural week added a beautiful color to bilateral friendly exchange and highlighted the strong vitality of China-Cyprus relations.
Business interactions between our countries are also soaring in speed. The bilateral trade surged 17.2% in the first 9 months of 2014 and Cyprus import from China increased by 18.3%. At the same time, an increasing number of Chinese people have shown interest in Cyprus, not only regarding house purchases, but also in many other fields, such as renewable energy, electric power, tourism, and shipping industry. They have become aware of the fact that Cyprus is an ideal place for investment, and realized the great potential and the bright prospect of this beautiful island. Earlier this week, a Chinese company and a Cypriot company signed a contract worth 36 million to build a 50 MW power plant. This inspiring project is a positive sign for the sound development of our business cooperation. I hope the increasing Chinese investment and pragmatic business cooperation will inject more vigor and vitality into our bilateral relationship.
As known to all, China is now the third largest investor in the world with nearly 100 billion US dollars of outbound investment every year. And it is projected that in the coming five years, China's outbound investment will reach 500 billion US dollars, and the number of its outbound tourists may exceed 500 million. China's development benefits the world including Cyprus. Cyprus should seize this opportunity. In order to draw more attention from Chinese investors, we hope the Cypriot government can implement more favorable foreign investment policies, simplify VISA application procedures, provide better organization facilities and services, and create a clear, fair and efficient mechanism to protect the interest of Chinese investors. I firmly believe, with the joint efforts of both sides, the best chapter of China-Cyprus cooperation is ahead of us.
Finally, I would like to thank all friends present here today, for your efforts in pushing forward the trade and economic ties between our countries. And I wish you all the success!