Cyprus-China relations and Cyprus’ importance in China’s One Belt, One Road Initiative
Published on: 23/05/2017
Cyprus and China can mutually benefit from The One Belt, One Road Initiative.
The One Belt, One Road Initiative (OBOR) refers to the The Silk Road Economic Belt (road from China to Europe) and the 21st-centruy Maritime Silk Road (shipping lanes throughout Asia and the Pacific) development strategy proposed by the Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013 with the aim to build trade and infrastructure networks connecting Asia, Europe and Africa.
The One Belt, One Road initiative focuses on the enhancement of economic cooperation and connectivity among the countries along the proposed Belt and Road routes.
According to the Chinese Ambassador to Cyprus, Huang Xingyuan, due to its excellent geographical location (strategic point between Europe, Asia and Africa) and developed shipping sector, Cyprus can play a very important role in promoting the Belt and Road Initiative.
He made the above statement during a press conference in Nicosia, where he was presenting updates on the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) which took place in Beijing on the 14th and 15th of May 2017.
Cyprus was represented by Education Minister Mr Costas Kadis in the BRF, where Mr Kadis and the Education Minister of China, Chen Baosheng signed an Agreement on the mutual recognition of Higher Education Titles, reassuring Cyprus support towards China’s OBOR Initiative.
During the press conference, he talked also about China-Cyprus relations in different sectors.
Answering a question regarding commercial relations between China and Cyprus, he said that there is still plenty of room for improvement. Cyprus has many products (e.g. wine and hallumi cheese) which could be exported to China, and there are many investment opportunities in Cyprus
for Chinese entrepreneurs. He also mentioned that China can provide advanced systems for producing renewable energy and solar panels. All these could increase the volume of trade between the two countries.
Mr Huang said that ‘'people-to-people exchange is an important part of the Belt and Road cooperation…it is imperative to strengthen the friendly exchanges between peoples, enhance mutual understanding and deepen friendship, which lays a public and social basis for the development of mutually beneficial cooperation.’'
In order to achieve the above and to further enhance mutual understanding between the peoples and to promote China-Cyprus relations to new level, the Chinese Embassy in Cyprus, has launched its ‘Heart to Heart’ culture events in April and held a reception for the 30th anniversary of the Cypro-Chinese Friendship Association. Further cultural events will be organized in the following months with the aim to bring together Chinese and Cypriots.
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