Signing of DTAA to unlock investments between India, Cyprus: President Anastasiades

Signing of Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA), which came into force last month, is bound to strengthen economic ties between Cyprus and India and boost investment on both sides, Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades has said.

Noting that Cyprus was the eighth largest foreign investment country with regards to India, President Anastasiades said the DTAA treaty removed Cyprus as Notified Jurisdiction Area (NJA) which will give "a completely new dynamic to the link of our economies."

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades addressing Cyprus India Business Forum, reaffirming the strong will of Cyprus Government for closer bonds with India.
Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades (4th from left) addressing Cyprus-India Business Forum, reaffirming the strong will of Cyprus Government for closer bonds with India. Photo courtesy: Twitter/ @anastasiadescy

"Undoubtedly, it will contribute to further strengthening the economic ties between Cyprus and India, particularly in the field of investments, on which Cyprus ranks as the 8th biggest foreign investment country to India," Anastasiades said in his keynote address to the Cyprus-India Business Forum in Mumbai before concluding his four-day visit to India.

He said his visit was a testimony to a "determination to actively upgrade" Cyprus-India ties.

"It is precisely for this reason that I am accompanied to India by the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism, the Minister of Transport, Communications and Works, the Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment, and the Government Spokesman. My delegation also comprises a strong business delegation from a range of fields, including the legal, financial, property, construction, and services sector," he told Mumbai business community leaders.

He said his aim was to shed light on the unique investment opportunities Cyprus – an EU member state at a strategic location at the crossroads of Europe, North Africa and Asia – has to offer, and achieve "a strategic re-orientation" of our economic partnership.

President Anastasiades said it was impossible not to talk about Cyprus shipping industry while being in a port city of Mumbai.

"Cyprus’s shipping industry has been one of the most successful export services of our country, as Cyprus enjoys the privilege of being one of the most influential global hubs for ship owning and ship management services," he said.

The south-east European nation is home to some of the world’s most prominent names in shipping offering competitive ship registration costs and favourable tax regime for ship management and other international business enterprises.

There are more than 1,000 registered vessels with 21 million gross tonnage sail under the Cyprus flag. It has tenth largest merchant fleet in the world,  third largest merchant fleet in the EU, and its Ship management Centre is among the top three in the world.

Briefing the mediapersons on President Anastasiades's first visit to India, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Secretary (West) Ruchi Ghanshyam said,"India and Cyprus enjoy friendly and time-tested ties. On many global issues both countries share similar views. India has extended unwavering support for sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Cyprus. Cyprus supports India's views of crucial multilateral issues such as UN Security Council reforms and Nuclear Suppliers Group(NSG)."

"Cyprus and India enjoy robust economic ties. Cyprus is a major investor in India with cumulative FDI of USD9 billion," Ghanshyam added.

The trade volume between the two countries has gone up from USD82 million in 2014 to USD108 million in 2016. India exports chemicals, oil seed, oleaginous fruit, fish, vehicles, spares, and iron and steel. Cyprus sends aluminium, wood pulp, machinery, boilers, engines and plastic goods to India.

The Indian community in Cyprus is about three thousand seven hundred strong, mostly consisting of domestic workers, farm workers, professionals, computer engineers, software programmers. Indians are also employed in merchant navy, shipping management, banks, tourism, tobacco industry, and market research companies. At present 670 Indian students are studying in Cyprus.