Cyprus Mail

‘Economic diplomacy’ efforts being stepped up

Former Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides

Greater attention must be paid to the role of commercial attaches serving at Cypriot embassies, MPs said on Tuesday.

A commercial attache is an officer in the foreign commerce service of a country who is attached to an embassy or legation in those countries considered important for trade or business.

The House commerce committee heard that currently around the world there are only 13 foreign commerce delegations, comprising 27 employees and covering 71 countries.

Due to cutbacks, over the last four years the government has recalled back to Cyprus its full-time commercial attaches from four diplomatic missions.

The matter was tabled for discussion by Edek MP Elias Myrianthous, who asked how Cyprus can hope to promote its exports abroad without posting commercial attaches to diplomatic missions in key countries.

Speaking in parliament, a foreign ministry official said that, under the watch of former foreign minister Ioannis Kasoulides, greater effort was made to promote ‘economic diplomacy’.

The official said that in December 2017 Cyprus secured €135,000 financing from the EU for staff training on economic diplomacy.

Efforts were also being made to upgrade the status of commercial attaches, who currently are graded as local staff and paid less than other embassy employees.

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