Speech by Mr Andreas Christou – Mayor of Limassol at the Working Committee for Law, Banking and Finance of the European Business Congress, organised by Renaissance Group, on Friday, April 20th, 2012 at 10.30 hours at Amathus Hotel
Dear Dr Kruglov, Dear Participants
I welcome you all in Limassol and greatly appreciate your selection of our city as the place for this Working Committee for Law, Banking and Finance of the European Business Congress to be held.
The EBC, being an influential international institution aimed at fostering integration of East and West into global economy is feasibly contributing to elaboration of efficient tools of interaction between business circles and politicians. It voices the consolidated position of private sector on modern economic challenges and paves the way to significant joint social projects.
Our city Limassol for this session. Limassol is the “steam engine” of the Cyprus economy, from where thousands of local and international companies and enterprises undertake their local and international activities.
The Limassol Municipality has supported the presence of this vibrant business community with infrastructure works, including a new port and passenger terminal, a new marina, three universities – including the State Technological University of Cyprus, and the licensing of private sector projects like best in class business offices, residential accommodation, parking spaces, recreational and leisure facilities.
Crucially, the Municipality has led the cultural evolution of Limassol into a major multiethnic multicultural city where about 20% of our population are ex patriate citizens, with a significant presence of Russian and Russian speaking nationals, who became an integral part of local society with considerable contribution in social, cultural and economic development of our city. We believe this is a proof of the city’s multinational outlook and welcoming attitude to international corporations using the Cyprus hub as a base for their global activities.
I understand that over the course of the day you will be debating on matters relating to Energy Security and new Opportunities for Natural Gas, within the framework of the new architecture of the EU Energy Market.
I invite you to use this opportunity, as well as the opportunity of your visit to Cyprus, to consider the rapid developments in the Eastern Mediterranean associated with indications of significant gas and oil resources in the sea between Cyprus, Lebanon, Israel and Egypt.
As you may be aware, Cyprus has already awarded its Block 12 and the results of the first drilling well provide us with substantial optimism that Cyprus will be able to develop a promising new industry. A new licensing round for expressions of interest for the remaining 12 offshore blocks of Cyprus is due to be completed by 11 May. Discussions for associated infrastructure assets are also well on the way. I invite you to consider these developments and determine how you and your clients can be part of this exciting new industry for Cyprus.
We will be delighted as Municipality of Limassol to support you in such deliberations.
Whilst in Limassol, I also encourage you to explore the city and the traditions of Cyprus. Our city has a long history dating 4000 years back. The Limassol region features some of the most well known archeological sites – including the Ancient Amathus site which is very close to this Hotel. The Limassol region is also home to some of the most well known wineries of Cyprus, situated either in Limassol town or in nearby villages. I encourage you to therefore use this opportunity, for complimenting your business trip with a taste for Cyprus through the wide cultural, entertainment and recreational opportunities that Limassol offers.
I wish you the very best for your today’s business meeting and thank you for this invitation.