Cyprus telecommunications authority (Cyta) is participating in the multi-million undersea East Med Corridor (EMC) venture, a data cable that will link Europe with Asia.

In an announcement, Cyta said the agreement that was signed in Athens on Tuesday bolsters Cyprus’ efforts to become a regional data and business hub.

The EMC is a geostrategic project that has state backing and capitalizes on the geographic position of Cyprus, Greece and Saudi Arabia to create an international digital highway that is essential to the world economy, Cyta said.

Starting from Singapore, the EMC will pass through Saudi Arabia, Israel, Cyprus and Greece, ending in Italy and France. Construction will start in autumn and should be ready and in operation at the end of 2025 at a total cost of $850m. Participating companies are Saudi Arabia’s MENA HUB, Greece’s TTSA and DEI (public power corporation), and Cyta.

In statements, Cyta president Michalis Ioannides said that the telecommunications authority was participating in a project that could make the Cyprus-Greece telecommunications axis Europe’s gateway for data transfers.

EMC creates the preconditions for significant geo-strategic and financial benefits for the country. “From today, we are a step close to turning Cyprus into a regional data and business centre,” he said.

Cyta’s CEO Andreas Neocleous said the investment would multiply the capacity of Cyta’s links with the rest of the world, ensuring faster speeds and bigger data volumes for its clients. “It will also offer durability and reserves in the country’s digital links, with many long-term commercial and financial benefits for Cyta and the country,” he said.

Finance Minister Constantinos Petrides noted that Cyta’s investment not only bolsters Cyprus’ connectivity. “The agreement safeguards that the headquarters of the company scheme of the EMC project will be Cyprus,” he said.

This entails multiple financial benefits for Cyprus and allows for synergies and cooperation with Greece and Saudi Arabia, with extensions both at the European and international level, he noted.

Deputy minister for research, innovation and digital policy Kyriakos Kokinos said the EMC will play a significant role in ensuring Cyprus’ digital connectivity. At the same time, it fulfilled the primary goal of linking Cyprus with the most important data exchange hubs in the area and establishes it as a regional telecommunications and data centre, he said.