The potential role that Cyprus can play in the framework of the Commonwealth especially after the exit of Britain from the European Union, was highlighted on Thursday during the launch event of the Cyprus Branch of the Royal Commonwealth Society (RCS) in Nicosia, in the presence of Prince Michael of Kent.
Prince Michael spoke for a renewed opportunity for the Commonwealth after the recomposition within the EU, which presented an opportunity for Cyprus to play a bigger part in world affairs.
He focused on the business and investment opportunities that the Commonwealth has to offer and welcomed the new strategic partnership established between Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council and the Cyprus Investment and Promotion Agency in Nicosia.
He also pointed out that a Commonwealth free trade zone would grant access to some of the world’s fastest growing emerging markets giving a boost to business and investment, noting at the same time the importance of block to block partnerships enhancing trade opportunities between the Commonwealth and the EU.
He referred to the exchange of best practices within the Commonwealth, saying that Cyprus already benefits from such opportunity as it makes use of a Commonwealth device designed to strengthen public debt management.
“The modern Commonwealth offers tremendous opportunities for its member states. All we have to do is to unlock its huge potential”, he added.
Speaking in the event, President of the House of Representatives Demetris Syllouris said that the establishment of the RCS Cyprus Branch, just a year ago, is an indication of the keen interest shown by smaller Commonwealth countries in the region, in the significance of the RCS, as an important partner to the comprehensive participation in Commonwealth affairs.
“The launch event today, entitled” Opportunities and Challenges for Business and Investment in the Commonwealth”, to be presented by the keynote speaker, will give us further insights into the work of the RCS in this direction and, by extension, of the Commonwealth at large. At this point in time, this is invaluable, if one thinks of how our businesses can move forward regarding investments within the Commonwealth’s huge and often challenging spectrum”, he said.
In a speech on behalf of the Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides, Political Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Rea Yiordamlis referred to the recent Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London, which as she said, strongly reinforced the principles and values of the Commonwealth Charter.
As she said both President Anastasiades and the Minister of Foreign Affairs participated actively in the Summit and highlighted the important role of Cyprus as an EU and a Commonwealth member.
She also said that the Foreign Minister announced that Cyprus would offer its experience and expertise in the area of the sustainable development of aquaculture.
Cyprus, she added, also submitted to the EU a proposal for closer EU-Commonwealth relations to be discussed in the near future.
Founded in 1868 the RCS is a network of individuals and organisations promoting the values of the modern Commonwealth, such as human rights, democracy and sustainable development. The Cyprus branch will be affiliated with the University of Nicosia.