Commerce minister Giorgos Papanastasiou and the Republic’s Chief Scientist for Research, Innovation, and Technology, Demetris Skourides, were recently in Japan to promote Cyprus as a base for international business and as an emerging tech centre. 

This was part of the government’s drive to woo Japanese investors and business leaders, by promoting Cyprus’ ambitious future vision, which includes becoming a hub for advanced technology and a base for international businesses. 

The mission took part in a business forum organised by the commerce ministry, the Chamber of Commerce (Keve), the Cyprus-Japan Business Association, and the Trade Center in Japan. The forum provided Papanastasiou with a prime opportunity to showcase Cyprus’ competitive advantages as an international business location. 

Papanastasiou presented Cyprus’ new strategy to attract international businesses and specialised personnel, highlighting the Business Facilitation Unit within his Ministry as the central “Point of Contact” for businesses aiming to establish or expand in Cyprus.  

Chief Scientist Skourides delivered a presentation on “Cyprus as an emerging technology hub,” which outlined the “Cyprus 2035” long-term strategy which aims to make Cyprus one of the most desirable countries for living, working, and investing in.  

He detailed the progress in the technology sector, the developing research and innovation ecosystem, and the government’s digital transition strategies, focusing on the Digital Citizen initiative and on contemporary challenges in big data and artificial intelligence. Skourides also referred to the importance of cybersecurity in transforming Cyprus into a regional information hub. 

He extensively discussed the role of the seven Centres of Excellence in Cyprus, stressing their contributions to various sectors and how they act as catalysts and poles of attraction for startups, providing consulting services, access to infrastructure, and tech resources.  

These centres include CMMI for marine research, Phaethon for energy and renewables, Biobank for health and biogenetics, KIOS for IT and communications, CYENS for cultural heritage and augmented reality, ERATOSTHENIS for space research, and EMME-CARE for climate and environmental studies. 

Skourides also emphasised the incentives Cyprus offers to foreign investors in research, innovation, and technology sectors and discussed potential collaboration areas like robotics, energy, AI, shipping, space, and biotechnology. 

The presentation also featured a panel discussion of representatives from Cypriot tech companies like Ideagen Tritan, EFEVRE TECH, and the Cyprus Space Agency, who spoke about the innovative solutions they offer and what distinguishes them in the global marketplace. 

The event also included smeetings with executives from companies like REIMEI, ARTEVITE, JAOPS, Kinsui, MANSEISYA, Wargaming, Worldwide Media, and an EU – Japan Centre representative. 

The forum drew interest from foreign investors and the Japanese business community alike. Among its guests were the EU Ambassador to Japan, Jean-Eric Paquet, Nobutaka Maekawa of the Japan Trade Organisation.