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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-02-23

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>


CONTENTS

  • [01] Cyprus-Canada Chamber of Commerce holds inaugural meeting
  • [02] Cypriot delegation discusses harmonization with EU
  • [03] Talat re-elected PTK president
  • [04] Cyprus congratulates UN on Iraq accord

  • 0920:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Cyprus-Canada Chamber of Commerce holds inaugural meeting

    by Menelaos Hadjicostis

    Toronto, Feb 23 (CNA) -- Dozens of prominent Cypriot and Greek-Canadian businesspersons took part yesterday in the inaugural meeting of the Cyprus- Canada Chamber of Commerce (CCCC), in an effort to expand trade relations and strengthen political ties between the two countries.

    "This is an organisation whose time has come," Consul General of Cyprus in Toronto, Achilleas Antoniades told CNA. "The time has come for all these people to come together under the umbrella of one organisation to promote not only their own interests, but the trade and commercial relations between Cyprus and Canada."

    The CCCC held its first meeting at the Cypriot Community Centre in Toronto under the aegis of the Cyprus Consulate-General in Toronto.

    A congratulatory address by Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KEBE) Secretary-General Andreas Loizides was read to the participants by Antoniades.

    Members of the Steering Committee set up to organise the inaugural meeting noted the need for the creation of a new prestigious and professional business organisation in Canada with the prime objectives of bringing Canadian business people of Cypriot and non-Cypriot origin together, creating a business network within Canada and building direct connections with KEBE.

    "We have seen enthusiastic support for the idea, not only here in Canada, but also in Cyprus. We have worked closely with the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry. They fully support this idea and they have promised to give their cooperation to this newly established organisation," Antoniades said.

    The Consul-General told participants that although trade between Canada and Cyprus is not large, it has doubled last year, "and the prospects are there for multiple increase of this trade".

    According to Antoniades, Canadian exports to Cyprus are to the tune of 20-25 million Canadian dollars, while Cypriot exports to Canada are 2-3 million Canadian dollars, mostly consisting of wine, cheese, plastics, foot and clothing wear.

    "There is interest in Cyprus products in Canada, and it's a matter of us working hard to make that known in the Canadian market and bring over Cypriot products," Antoniades said.

    He added that there is tremendous interest that comes to the attention of the Consulate-General in Toronto from Canadian companies which are keen on exploiting the potential that Cyprus has in the offshore sector, especially regarding business opportunities in the former Soviet Republics and eastern European countries.

    "This organisation will help propagate that message and get the message to a wider range of Canadian companies. The intention is that the CCCC will not remain in the confines of the Cypriot-Canadian Community, but will expand to the Canadian business community at large," Antoniades said.

    Albeit small in number, Canadian tourism to Cyprus has the potential to expand greatly, given the will of Canadian travel agents to promote tourism to the Canadian public, the Consul-General noted.

    As he further pointed out, the CCCC's establishment will have a positive affect not only on business relations, but in the political realm as well.

    "The establishment of this organisation will help political relations between Cyprus and Canada. Commercial relations are a bridge that can promote understanding between the two peoples as well as improving relations between the two governments," he said.

    Those attending the meeting were told CCCC members are expected to accrue such benefits as access to a members directory, investment opportunities in Canada and Cyprus, participation in seminars and professional perks such as cross membership rates with other professional clubs.

    It was also noted that the decision to hold the CCCC's inaugural meeting in Toronto was made because the majority of Canadians of Cypriot origin reside in and around Toronto, but this does not preclude the participation of other business people across Canada from becoming members or taking part in future CCCC meetings.

    Plans are already underway to establish a CCCC internet web site whereby Canadian business people of Cypriot or non-Cypriot origin can have ready access to the organisation's current or future activities.

    Participants were also told that the CCCC is working towards a Canadian trade mission to Cyprus for sometimes this year.

    Nine CCCC directors were elected at the meeting, nominated from among the participants.

    They are Popular Bank Toronto Branch Manager Angelos Louis, local businessman John Zambakides, Barrister/Solicitor Andreas Solomos, Bank of Cyprus Toronto branch Manager Kyriakos Elles, Chartered Accountant Ken Kyriakou, local travel agent Pat Georgiadou, local businessmen Thomas Athanasiou and Vassos Georghiou and Dr Yiannis Doganoglu.

    A meeting of the directors will be held later this week to elect a president and three vice-presidents.

    "I believe there is excellent diversity among the directors in terms of their occupations and I believe it's good representation of Cypriot- Canadian business persons in Ontario and Canada," Louis told CNA.

    CNA MH/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    0930:CYPPRESS:02

    [02] Cypriot delegation discusses harmonization with EU

    Nicosia, Feb 23 (CNA) -- A 15-member Cypriot delegation begins meetings in Brussels today to prepare the ground for Cyprus' accession talks with the European Union (EU), scheduled to start end of March.

    The delegation, headed by Planning Bureau chief Panicos Pouros, will hold two days of discussions with European Commission officials.

    Cypriot law and regulations pertaining to the internal market, agriculture, the environment and regional policy and structural funds will be examined.

    The implementation of the EU - Cyprus Fourth Financial Protocol, the policy to be followed during the accession talks and the possibility of offering Cyprus technical assistance for its harmonization with the EU will also be discussed.

    The delegation comprises representatives of five ministries dealing with issues that will be examined, the Central Bank and the Attorney- General's office.

    CNA MA/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1250:CYPPRESS:03

    [03] Talat re-elected PTK president

    Nicosia, Feb 23 (CNA) -- President of Turkish Cypriot Republican Turkish Party (PTK), Mehmet Ali Talat, was re-elected to the party's leadership during a party meeting Sunday.

    According to today's Turkish Cypriot Press, in his speech Talat supported Cyprus cannot join the European Union (EU) before a solution establishing a federated state is reached.

    He also said Turkish Cypriots should participate in the Cyprus-EU accession talks, scheduled to begin end of March.

    Greek Cypriot left-wing AKEL party General Secretary, Dimitris Christofias, sent a message to the PTK meeting, stressing the need for more contact between the two sides.

    "For us to be able to reach a solution that would safeguard our future we need to step up our efforts for rapprochement and contact between us so that we could build again trust between the Greek and Turkish Cypriots," Christofias said.

    The Greek Cypriot main opposition leader referred to the role the two parties have in efforts for a Cyprus settlement and expressed sorrow for not being able to attend the RTK meeting, due to new intransigent measures introduced by the Turkish Cypriot leader.

    Rauf Denktash decided last December to suspend most meetings between Greek and Turkish Cypriots and recently decided to impose "taxes" to people who enter the occupied areas.

    Talat told his party's meeting that the Cyprus peace talks should continue, based on two agreements reached between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides providing for the establishment of a bizonal, bicommunal federation.

    "We insist on a federal solution," he said, adding that a "give-and- take" policy should be followed.

    Talat criticised Denktash for refusing to participate in peace negotiations unless the illegal regime in the occupied areas is recognised, stressing that this policy would create problems in efforts to reach a Cyprus settlement.

    After December's EU decision to open accession talks with the Cyprus Republic, Denktash said he would not participate in peace talks unless the illegal entity in the areas occupied by Turkey since 1974 was recognised. The breakaway state was established in 1983 and is recognised only by Turkey.

    Talat also claimed that Greek Cypriots continued their struggle for "union" (enosis) with Greece and Turkish Cypriots for the island's partition (Taxim).

    Referring to illegal agreements and protocols signed between Turkey and the puppet regime in the Turkish-occupied areas, he described them as "fairy-tales".

    Talat pointed out that "thousands" of agreements had been signed but not one was implemented.

    The PTK leader dismissed claims that a British decision that Turkish Cypriots should obtain a visa for the UK in Cyprus, prior to a trip to the country, has political motives as Denktash had suggested.

    PTK "deputy" Ahmet Derya told the meeting that Turkish Cypriots had nothing to feel grateful for towards Turkey.

    CNA SA/MA/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1440:CYPPRESS:04

    [04] Cyprus congratulates UN on Iraq accord

    Nicosia, Feb 23 (CNA) -- The Cyprus government has congratulated the UN Secretary-General on his "invaluable contribution" to peace and expressed the hope that UN resolutions on Cyprus will also be implemented.

    The government has also recognised the contribution of the US and their allies in concluding the agreement.

    "We congratulate UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the agreement he signed in Iraq which constitutes an invaluable contribution to peace," Government Spokesman Manolis Christofides said here today.

    The Republic of Cyprus, he added, "would like to hope that in its case the UN will have the necessary decisive backing from the member-states to implement the resolutions on Cyprus."

    Christofides said the signing of the agreement and the maintenance of international peace in this sensitive geographical region "is an example and proof of what the UN can achieve when they have at their disposal the necessary power."

    "We recognise the big contribution of the US and their allies in clinching this agreement," the spokesman said.

    He said Annan was not expected in Cyprus on his way back from Baghdad, as it was originally announced.

    CNA MCH/MM/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

    CNA ENDS


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