President Nicos Anastasiades on Monday received the credentials for the new ambassadors to Cyprus from Sweden, Finland, the Netherlands, Kuwait and Qatar during ceremonies at the presidential palace.
He gave the new ambassadors a brief run-down on the Cyprus problem and economic developments and spoke of bilateral relations between the island and the countries in question.
The ambassadors all expressed their countries’ support for a Cyprus solution and spoke of potential areas for economic and other types of cooperation.
New Finnish Ambassador Timo Heino mentioned clean technology and offshore-industry while Sweden’s new ambassador, Anna Olsson Vrang referred to great potential in furthering tourism and trade relations. She said she was pleased to see a number of well-established Swedish companies in Cyprus such as IKEA and H&M
“There is great potential in furthering our trade relations. Sweden has a lot to offer in many areas, such as innovation and environmental friendly technologies. Investing in sustainable energy development will help us achieve our climate objectives,” she said. There are around 2,000 permanent Swedish residents in Cyprus.
Nathalie Jaarsma, the new Dutch ambassador hailed Cyprus, which after several difficult years was firmly on a path towards growth.
“The impressive policy achievements of your government have made it possible for Cyprus to successfully exit the macroeconomic adjustment programme,” she said.
Dutch companies, she added, have been among the main investors in the Cypriot economy. “Important sectors are shipping, oil and gas, tourism and of course the financial sector,” Jaarsma said. “The investors’ choice of Cyprus shows the economic importance of the strategic location of your country, connecting Europe with the Middle East and Asia.”
The new ambassador said she was glad to see that there were again year-round direct flights between the Netherlands and Cyprus, which would benefit tourists and businesspeople, and universities and schools in the Netherlands remained popular among young Cypriots, the ambassador said.
When it came to Kuwait and Qatar, two countries Cyprus has been wooing for investment in recent years, the new ambassador to the former, Waleed Ahmad Al-Kandari said the strength of the Cyprus-Kuwait partnership is based on common interests, values, visions and prospects, which will be positively reflected in the strengthened economic ties between the business communities and the politicians of our two countries.
“We deem the exchange of the high level visits between our two countries as very important and beneficial, because of their significant role in widening our mutual horizons and forging new areas of cooperation between the two countries,” he said.
Cyprus and Kuwait have already signed several cooperation agreements as have Cyprus and Qatar.
Anastasiades said these agreements had given impetus to bilateral relations and have set a stronger framework for future cooperation.
He mentioned the launch of ten scheduled flights a week to Larnaca operated by Qatar Airways as “only an example” of the bilateral cooperation.
The new ambassador of Qatar to Cyprus Sultan Ibrahim Youssef Ibrahim Al-Mahmoud said he applauded the achievements of Cyprus in the economic arena.
“I shall make every possible effort to enhance and promote the close bonds of cooperation and friendship already existing between our two countries,” he said.