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Papadopoulos wows Indian cos, to promote Cyprus for routing FDIs

Written by: Staff

Mumbai, April 13 (UNI) The President of Cyprus Republic Tassos Papadopoulos, who is currently on a state visit to India, today urged teh captains of the Indian industries to promote Cyprus for routing foreign direct investments(FDI) and to derive strategic locational advantage of the island nation by virtue of lying at the hub of three continents.

Elaborating, Mr Papadopoulos said Cyprus -- the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea -- which is often called the ''bridge between the west and the east'', a full member of the European Union since 2004 enjoys a competitive advantage with an educated English-speaking population, moderate input costs and good airline, telecommunications infrastructure, pollution free environment and low crime rate.

Speaking at a function co-organised by FICCI, YES Bank and Bombay Stock Exchange(BSE) here, Mr Papadopoulos said the Government of Cyprus has taken multiple initiatives including the adoption of a market oriented economic system to facilitate business growth.

He pointed out that Cyprus witnessed a structural shift in its economy from agriculture to light manufacturing and services with the latter contributing 75.7 per cent to its GDP of USD 15 billion.

''My country's economy is dominated by the services sector, mainly tourism and financial services, and we are interested to expand tourism from India and promote Cyprus, with its zero per cent capital gain tax, for routing FDI into India,'' the Cyprus President said.

In this context, he said ''Cyprus offers an extremely favourable tax regime similar to that of Mauritius, with whom India has a tax treaty at par.'' Mr Papadopoulos is the fifth president of Cyprus to visit India.

His stopover in Mumbai today follows a stop in New Delhi, where he had meetings with his Indian counterpart President Dr A.P.J Abdul Kalam, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, Vice President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, Chairperson UPA and President Indian National Congress Sonia Gandhi, Minister of State of External Affairs. Anand Sharma.

Earlier,FICCI senior vice president FICCI and Wockhardt Group chairman Habil Khorakiwala, said with bilateral trade between the two countries standing at USD 42 million currently and growing, there is great scope for enhancing the trade relations in the future.

Honorary Consul of Cyprus for Maharashtra, managing director and CEO YES Bank Rana Kapoor said, the visit of Cyprus President to India will further strengthen the Indo-Cyprus business and cultural corridor in the future. He felt that Indian companies can explore engaging in joint R&D ventures with Cypriot companies.

Mr Kapoor, furtehr, said Cyprus has at its disposal large funds for R&D under the ''EU programs for R&D in member countries''.

Stating that Indian Biotech companies could have significant scope here, he said ''We can have road shows, and interactive business meetings to synergise in the knowledge-based sectors and E-commerce where India has a proven strength in trained manpower personnel, computer software including software development and hardware supplies.'' UNI SN PP AG2101

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