Cyprus and Saudi Arabia have signed a framework cooperation programme (FCP), taking a new step in promoting investments between the two countries in areas of mutual concern.

The FCP was singed on Saturday in Nicosia by Finance Minister, Makis Keravnos and the Saudi Minister of Investment, Khalid Al Falih, who was on an official visit to Cyprus.

“This programme is an important step to further promote our bilateral relations in the area of investments and it has come as a result of mutual recognition of the opportunities offered,” Keravnos said in statements after the signing ceremony at the ministry of finance, adding the signed programme provides cooperation in many areas of common interest, exchange of visits between experts and specialists and conferences in the field of investments.

Keravnos noted that during the meeting with the Saudi minister “we also discussed the prospects for investments in a variety of priority sectors for our countries such as ICT, tourism and hospitality, shipping, energy, health and education”.

He also said he was honoured to be receiving Al Falih as one of his first duties at the new finance minister.

On his part, Al Falih stated that he was happy with the FCP “which will enhance bilateral relations in the field of investment and open a new era for economic cooperation for the public and private sector partnership between our two nations.”

The programme will facilitate continuous interactions between Saudi and Cypriot businesses, he said, adding that he was very pleased that later on Saturday he would be spending a few hours with representatives of the Cypriot and Saudi private sector with the coordination of Invest Cyprus.

Furthermore, the Saudi minister said the signing of the FCP, comes only a few months after we concluded a “landmark deal between Saudi Arabia, Cyprus and Greece which will constitute one of the world’s longest and impactful data transmission corridor”, called EMC.

“We hope to build on this momentum created by the agreement signed today, by the alignment between our leaders to also kick-off our cooperation in travel and tourism, ship building and maintenance and the maritime sector,” Al Falih concluded.