Has been updated: Dec 30, 2022 17:42 IST
Nicosia [Cyprus]December 30 (ANI): Cyprus’ Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides said on Friday that his country supports the momentum of negotiations on an EU-India free trade agreement.
Speaking at a business event in Cyprus, Kasurides said, “The relationship between the European Union and India has great potential for further cooperation. In this regard, we are working towards the EU-India Free Trade Agreement. We support the momentum of the negotiations,” he said. Cyprus has a strong voice within her EU and needs to concretely strengthen EU-India ties. “
India and the European Union have completed the first round of negotiations for the India-EU Trade and Investment Agreement, which includes Geographical Indicators (GIs), in July 2022. The second round of negotiations will take place in Brussels in September 2022.
Bilateral trade between India and the EU will reach USD 116.36 billion in 2021-2022. Despite global turmoil, bilateral trade has achieved a staggering annual growth rate of 43.5% from 2021 to 2022, a press release from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry reports.
The EU is currently India’s second largest trading partner after the United States and is India’s second largest export destination.
A trade deal with the EU would help India further expand and diversify its exports of goods and services, including securing value chains. Both sides aim for trade negotiations to be broad, balanced and comprehensive, based on the principles of fairness and reciprocity.
Cyprus FM congratulated the Indian High Commission for organizing an excellent initiative aimed at strengthening bilateral, economic and business ties between the two countries, stating: “Today’s event came at a very timely time. Foreign Minister S Jaishankar in attendance.I had the pleasure of welcoming him at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday.
Cyprus and India have traditionally shared an excellent relationship and have common historical experiences. Parameters such as the fight for freedom against colonialism and mutual adherence to global values of peace, democracy, human rights, peaceful resolution of disputes and the rule of law have brought people closer together. It laid the foundation for a strong friendship between the two countries.
“Over the years, our two countries have been joint members and have built on these historic ties as evidenced by their active participation in the Commonwealth, the United Nations and other international bodies,” Kasurides said. .
He said India is an important player in the political and economic sphere. It sets an example in its position of peace, security, stability and prosperity and plays an important and stable role in its South Asian neighborhood.
“Similarly, India has been adamant in supporting the reunification of Cyprus through a comprehensive solution, in line with UN Security Council resolutions,” Kasurides said.
The current issue between Cyprus and Turkey is an ongoing dispute between Greek Cypriots in the south and Cypriots in Turkey in the north. Tensions between Greece and Turkey over the divided island of Cyprus appear to be on the rise, according to a recent report by US broadcaster Voice of America (VOA).
The multifaceted Cyprus-India partnership has been steadily strengthening in recent years. Thanks to the 60 years of friendly relations between our two countries, the two countries have a great opportunity to explore new areas of cooperation.
“For these very reasons, strengthening ties with India forms one of the central pillars of our foreign policy. That is why the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cyprus is working hard to improve this relationship.We are working closely with other stakeholders in Cyprus, both in the private and public sectors,” Kasurides said.
He said there is untapped potential for cooperation in various sectors, trade and investment, including renewable energy, financial services, science and technology, information, communication technology, research and innovation, pharmaceuticals, shipping, tourism, education. said.
The Cyprus minister also spoke about the challenges facing the global economy.
“Our world and our economy face enormous challenges. A few years ago we had to deal with the pandemic and the ensuing recession and value chain disruptions. We had to deal with war, food and energy crises, and inflation,” said Kasrides.
Introducing Cyprus as an investment destination for India, he said the country’s main economic policy objective is to “transition to green and digital”.
“Despite the difficulties, the Cyprus economy is showing signs of steady growth and remains committed to policies for sound public finances and constructive structural reforms aimed at enhancing the competitiveness of the economy. One of the main pillars of our economic policy is the country’s “green and digital transition”, supported through funding from the EU, Kasoulides said.
“It offers many opportunities for investment across all sectors and we will work with India with the aim of strengthening a key partnership – political and economic partnership at bilateral and multilateral levels. We are strongly committed to that and I am confident that today’s event will bring us a step closer to this goal,” he added.
He said Cyprus’ economy is stable and it is continuously working to improve the business environment.
“GDP growth in 2022 is expected to be around 5.7%, and the 2023 forecast is expected to be around 3%, reflecting heightened global uncertainty. Due to the rise, it has increased since September 2021. The figure for 2022 is about 7.7% and 3% for 2023. Therefore, Cyprus’ economy is stable and the business environment is continuously improving. It is clear that we are working on,” said the Cypriot minister. (Ani)