TRANSPORT Minister Vassiliki Anastasiadou said on Friday that the government had submitted to Chinese authorities a draft proposal on air links between Cyprus and China.
The minister, who is part of the government delegation headed by President Nicos Anastasiades representing the country at the second Belt and Road Forum in China, said that in addition to meetings with officials at the forum, “I had the opportunity to meet with representatives of companies active in the field of technology, which can prove very useful to Cyprus, both for communications and for smart cities in general.”
The aim, she said is to transform the cities of Cyprus by attracting hi-tech.
The minister said Cyprus and China had on Thursday signed Memorandum of Understanding which promoted among others, connectivity between the two countries.
“We have submitted a draft agreement to the Chinese authorities for air connections between our countries on a very liberal basis without restrictions on number of flights, aircraft and destinations in China, but which needs to be processed to proceed,” Anastasiadou said.
Referring to her contacts in Beijing with regard to the telecommunications sector, the minister said that China’s tradition in the telecommunications sector is its know-how and its companies, which we have visited and consulted with on various issues and especially on cyber security that concern us in view of the 5G that is going to be licensed in Cyprus next year.”
The minister said she had visited the offices of specific companies to see what measures they were taking to ensure cyber security, “because it is an issue of particular interest to Europe today.”
President Anastasiades on Friday participated at the opening ceremony of the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing in the framework of the Silk Road initiative. He will address the forum on Saturday.
The forum is attended by 40 state or government leaders, as well as leaders of international organisations including UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres.
Chinese President Xi Jinping who spoke during the opening of the forum said that his country was taking the necessary steps to increase the import of goods and services from other countries in order to meet the different needs of his country and its citizens.
He added that the Chinese market would open to agricultural goods and industrial products as well as services and will remove existing tax obstacles.
China, he said, aims at strengthening trade, economic and investment relations between the countries participating in the China Silk Road Initiative, by enhancing policies that address, inter alia, climate change, environmental protection, health, the management of water and energy resources, culture, education, science and technology.
He also said that China wanted to strengthen its political and parliamentary relations with the countries participating in the Initiative and noted that over the next five years China will host more than 10,000 representatives from the countries that participate at this Initiative. He said that the main pillar of the initiative concerns the connectivity of these countries through the creation of appropriate infrastructure and through free trade agreements.