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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 11-05-02

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Cyprus is among the three countries chosen to present, during the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) which begins Monday in Houston, Texas, the opportunities they offer in offshore oil extraction and natural gas.

    For this reason, the Director of Energy at the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Solon Kassinis and the Director General of the Electricity Authority of Cyprus, Stelios Stylianos, have traveled to Houston to introduce the prospects that Cyprus has.

    The Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) is the worlds foremost event for the development of offshore resources in the fields of drilling, exploration, production, and environmental protection. OTC is held annually at Reliant Center in Houston.

    Each year, OTC attracts more than 65,000 attendees and 2,000 exhibiting companies representing more than 110 countries.

    This years exhibition will be the largest conference in 29 years and will offer the latest tools and services from more than 2,500 companies across three distinct areas, Reliant Center, Reliant Arena, and the newly expanded outdoor area, the OTC Parkway.

    OTC offers panel sessions where industry leaders discuss current challenges and future directions, special presentations at industry breakfasts and topical lunches, and approximately 300 technical presentations.

    OTC 2011 will present solutions for a wide range of topics such as major project updates, management, and health, safety, and environment.

    Particular emphasis will be laid on impact to oil and gas developments in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico following the Macondo oil spill. In the post-spill regime, there is a new era of government regulation and oversight, as well as evolving impacts. Several panels of experts and high-level government officials will address issues related to risk, drilling safety, energy development, and spill response for future oil and gas developments.

    Cyprus industry breakfast, organized by OTC and the US department of Commerce, will offer expert views on doing business in emerging areas of interest for the oil and gas industry. This event will provide a forum for Cyprus government officials to highlight their nations oil and gas policy and promote trade and investment opportunities in Cyprus oil and gas sector. In addition, US industry executives will give an overview of company experience doing business in Cyprus.


    The Cyprus Police have stepped up security measures for the protection of potential Western and US targets in Cyprus, following the death of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and the relevant statements by US President Barack Obama.

    According to Police Spokesman Michalis Katounotos, the force has adopted additional security measures in the event of new terrorist activities or reaction to the death of bin Laden.

    Speaking to CNA, Katsounotos also said that Police Chief Michalis Papageorgiou has given orders to Police Stations and the respective departments to increase their readiness in protecting Western and US targets in particular. Increased security measures are also enforced at entry and exit points of the Republic, he added.

    The situation will be continuously monitored by the competent counter terrorism office of the Police Headquarters, in order to brief the leadership on the adoption of necessary measures Katsounotos concluded.


    Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Antonis Paschalides, has said that the government is doing its utmost to support foreign investors Cyprus service providers, emphasizing Nicosias firm commitment to safeguarding and enhancing the Republics competitiveness as a cost-effective platform for international business operations and a gateway for cross-border investment cooperation across Europe and the Middle East.

    Addressing the European Conference of Baker Tilly International, in Paphos, Paschalides said that Cyprus economy is a small and predominantly service-based economy, with the wider services sector, including tourism, being the main driver of growth for the whole economy, contributing about 80% to the GDP. Our vision is to continue building on the strengths of our leading knowledge-based and export-oriented service industries. However, the pursuit of this strategic goal is currently being tested under the impact of the ongoing international financial and economic crisis, he said.

    The Minister noted that Cyprus has achieved this international status because of the hard work and entrepreneurship of service providers, who have capitalized on some attractive comparative advantages and incentives which the island offers to international business operators and investors.

    Paschalides said the government will continue providing every possible support to the international business sector. It is within this context that the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism and the Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency are intensifying their multilevel promotional effort. Specific initiatives are undertaken, such as organising seminars in Cyprus and in important overseas markets, sponsoring advertorials and special reports, participating in services exhibitions and granting financial assistance to Cypriot service providers, he said.


    A twelve-member team of rank officers will be departing on Monday for Israel to participate in a training programme for tackling incidents with dangerous chemicals.

    According to a press release, the mission is being organised in the framework of the joint declaration signed between the fire departments of Cyprus and Israel in September 2010, which provided for the exchange of expertise and experience, inter alia.

    The training session will take place at the Petah Tikva Fire Service near Jerusalem. The Cypriot team will be returning to Cyprus on May 6.

    In the context of the same joint declaration, six Israeli firefighters attended a training programme in Cyprus in November on operation procedures in the use of respiratory apparatuses, back draught, flashover, fire gas ignitions, and regular ventilation.

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