‘Global Russia Business Meeting’, one of the biggest meetings of business leaders and senior government officials from Russia and worldwide, took place in Limassol with 300 leading personalities from 30 countries taking part. The conference was hosted at the initiative of the Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency (CIPA), in an effort to promote the island as an attractive business and investment destination.
Dr. Frank-Jürgen Richter, President of Horasis Global Visions Community, the organiser of the conference, said that ‘it is very important to meet and discuss the future of our economies and ways to restore confidence, as well as how Russia can contribute to overcoming the global financial crisis’. He said that ‘many of the entrepreneurs participating in the conference are ready to invest and rebuild our economies’ and added that most Russian companies investing in Cyprus are using the island as a medium, channelling their investment abroad. Asked about the financial crisis, Richter said that ‘the crisis is over’, even though some countries in Europe, like Greece, Spain and Portugal, continue to have problems. He said finally that there are signs of recovery in these economies.
CIPA President Phidias Pilides said that the focus of the conference was on the prospects and challenges of Russia's economy, adding that this is an issue of concern for Cyprus, with Russia being its main business partner. He added that the conference was attended by high level representatives from large organisations, as well as a delegation of the Russian government and Gazprom.
Former Finance Minister Michalis Sarris said in his statements that the focus was on emerging economies and their contribution to the recovery of global economy. He noted that the services sector in Cyprus may also be of use for countries such as China and Brazil, whose economy is expanding throughout the world.
Manthos Mavrommatis, President of the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KEVE) stated on his part that strengthening financial relations between Cyprus and Russia may take many forms. He further noted that ‘it is clear that the Russian Federation is not only Moscow and St. Petersburg’ and added that Cypriot businesses should also focus on large cities of Russia’s vast hinterland. ‘The Russian government’, he said, ‘wants to develop the interior of the country and improve its infrastructure’. He added that the Cypriot business community is following these prospects, looking for ways to benefit from emerging growth prospects. Mavrommatis concluded that financial relations with Russia are not limited to the financial sector, as was the case until today, but added that the development of Russia’s economy creates more opportunities in sectors like tourism.