Russia’s economic growth promotes cooperation between Russia and Cyprus
The Forum is taking place on the margins of the 9th session of the Russian-Cypriot Intergovernmental Commission on Economic Cooperation, of which Nikolay Podguzov is Co-Chairman from the Russian side.
The Deputy Minister acknowledged that the past year had been a difficult one for the economies of both countries. Supplies of Russian grain to Cyprus fell by 58.6% to USD 21.8m and those of oil products by 60.6% to USD 183.1 m, while deliveries of Cypriot fruit and wines to Russia contracted by 92.3% to USD 1 m and of medicines by 32.5% to USD 5.7 m. For the first time in the last few years, trade in services shrank 24.4% to USD 5.1 bn, while the outflow of Cypriot investments from Russia reached USD 3.8 bn. Russia invested USD 4.9 bn in Cyprus during that period. All in all, as of 1 October 2015, aggregate Cypriot investments in Russia amounted to USD 99.1 bn, and Russian investments in Cyprus to USD 103 bn.
The Deputy Minister expressed hope that 2016 would mark a turnaround for the crisis-ridden trends in the Russian economy and put it on a growth path.
“Annualised inflation was reported at 7.5% in the first quarter; we expect it to drop to 7% for the full year”, noted Nikolay Podguzov, adding that Russian economic growth would spur Russian-Cypriot cooperation in the area of trade and the economy.
According to Nikolay Podguzov, investment cooperation and collaboration in the area of finance take centre stage in bilateral relations. He said that, in order to attract investment, the Russian Government had developed and was implementing a host of measures aimed at improving entrepreneurial institutions, simplifying conditions for doing business and supporting exports and SMEs; special economic regimes have been established for certain territories (advanced development areas, SEZs) and hi-tech manufacturing (special investment contracts).
Nikolay Podguzov said he was confident that the Cypriot partners would express an interest in the opportunities for application of international capital that are opening up in Russia.
Nikolay Podguzov named energy, tourism and agriculture among the promising areas for cooperation. These include oil and gas projects, construction and upgrading of electric power generation facilities, renewable energy technology development, bilateral tourism and trade development and expansion of regional cooperation.
Nikolay Podguzov stressed that the Russian-Cypriot business forum had become a fitting venue for sharing opinions and searching for new joint solutions.
“I am confident that new projects and initiatives will be triggered today and that their implementation will further strengthen bilateral cooperation between Russia and Cyprus”, the Deputy Minister said, suggesting that the dialogue should be continued at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum and the Eastern Economic Forum in June and September of 2016.
“These are interesting venues that bring together senior executives of the world’s leading companies and government officials, where different opinions clash and constructive discussions traditionally take place”, Nikolay Podguzov said in conclusion.