The Great Britain-Cyprus Business Association’s International Investment Conference 2024 kicked off in Limassol today, with the aim of enhancing business networking between the two countries.

During the event, which will conclude on Friday, the Deputy Minister of Shipping, Marina Hadjimanoli emphasised the administration’s renewed commitment to sustaining support for the shipping industry.

Hadjimanoli acknowledged the challenges currently facing the shipping industry but remained optimistic about the sector’s future.

“We are confident that the steps taken to enhance competitiveness and promote shipping will contribute to our vision of growing our maritime cluster both in size and range of activities and pave the way for a future defined by prosperity, opportunity and lasting success,” she said.

Hadjimanoli also emphasised the strong diplomatic and economic ties between Cyprus and the United Kingdom, recalling the recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in the maritime sector.

“Events like this,” she noted, “create an even stronger bond between our two countries.”

She further highlighted Cyprus’ historical significance as a maritime hub, saying, “The history of shipping goes back many centuries. The strategic geographical location of the island of Cyprus, at the crossroads of three continents, has played a crucial role in the development of Cyprus as a major maritime centre.”

She pointed out that the establishment of the Deputy Ministry of Shipping in 2018 marked a significant new chapter for the sector, highlighting Cyprus’ commitment to the maritime industry.

Notably, Cyprus has seen a 5.5 per cent increase in ships registered under its flag in recent months.

Hadjimanoli said “Cyprus is a modern, efficient, and integrated maritime transport complex and is also ranked among the world leaders.

As a third-party ship management centre, it is the largest in Europe and among the top three in the world”, while also pointing out the diverse investment opportunities available in Cyprus.

Deputy High Commissioner of the UK in Cyprus, Ben Rowlings also spoke at the conference, focusing on the challenges posed by geopolitical instability, economic crises, and the rise of Artificial Intelligence.

He emphasised the UK’s position as a global economic leader, saying that “our focus is on investment as it is a top driver of growth.”

Rowlings commended Cyprus for its resilience, stating, “Cyprus has proven that it can overcome problems and emerge as a leader in many areas.”

He outlined Cyprus’ strategic objectives to attract investments in finance, shipping, and technology, noting that “by offering an attractive environment for businesses and workers, Cyprus is responding to the expectations and modern needs of the world.”

Savvas Kyriakides, the founder and President of the Great Britain-Cyprus Business Association, rounded off with a focus on the growing cooperation between Cyprus and the UK, especially in investment and business networking.

He highlighted that this year’s conference places a spotlight on promoting real estate and other attractive investment opportunities in both countries.