Greeting of the Mayor of Limassol, Mr. Andreas Christou, at the World Finance Conference, organised by the World Finance Association, on Monday 1st of July 2013, at 13.00 hours at Amathus Hotel
We welcome you to Limassol and to this special gathering and thank you for your overwhelming presence here.
I note that this is one of the major finance conferences to take place after the recent Eurogroup decisions which have decisively affected the economic situation of Cyprus.
Your presence today is considered to be a reaffirmation of your trust towards the business environment of Cyprus and an expression of active solidarity to businessmen, businesses and the ordinary people who are being tested at this moment.
Limassol, the major business centre, and all of Cyprus, remain open and welcoming to all. Despite the crisis, the comparative advantages of Cyprus are still there and continue to be based on the people, our history and traditions, as well as on the experience and knowledge gained during the past 45 years. Throughout this time, our island has gradually developed into an international business centre. It is certain, that by detecting hydrocarbon deposits at the Cyprus EEZ these potentials gain a different dimension.
Limassol is and will remain the “steam engine” of the Cyprus economy, from where thousands of local and international companies and enterprises undertake their local and international activities. Today our city is the largest ship-management centre in the European Union.
Limassol Municipality has supported the presence of this vibrant business community with infrastructure works, including a new port and passenger terminal, a new marine, 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, 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.
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 archaeological 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 of Cyprus through the wide cultural, entertainment and recreational opportunities that Limassol offers.
I wish you the very best for your conference and thank you for this invitation.