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Business ties between Cambodia and Cyprus to be bolstered by the first-ever trade delegation

Gareth Johnson

The first ever trade delegation from Cyprus to Cambodia is set to arrive in the Kingdom on October 8, with high hopes of reinvigorating tourism and trade ties between the two nations. 

The delegation which is being led H.E Andreas Vyras, Mayor of Larnaka, Republic of Cyprus and President of the Cyprus Municipalities Association, is scheduled to visit the Kingdom from October 8 to 15.

Speaking to Cambodia Investment Review Salah Essa, Secretary of State and Advisor at the National Committee on Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific stated: “This will be the first time a high-level trade delegation has visited Cambodia from Cyprus since the establishment of diplomatic relations on May 16, 2000.”

To read more about the history of foreign direct investment in Cambodia click here.

Despite over 20 years of diplomatic relations, trade between the two countries remains relatively low. In 2020 Cambodia exported around $1.61 million of goods to Cyprus, principally made up of leather footwear and rice.

On the flip side, Cypriot exports to Cambodia amounted to around $1.19 million in 2021, with chief exports consisting of animal products, as well as pharmaceuticals, according to data provided by Trading Economics and the United Nations.

To read more about the 2021 trade between the two countries click here.

Extending bilateral cooperation between Cambodia and Cyprus 

According to the organizers, both countries are looking to extend cooperation in several fields, including trade and investment, education, cultural exchanges, as well as a particular emphasis on tourism. 

Specific areas of cooperation include tourism management, private sector investment in tourism, sports tourism, cultural tourism, as well as a mutual exchange of tourist information. 

After the meeting, it is hoped that both sides will arrange familiarisation trips for travel agents to improve understanding between the two nations. 

This will accompany the Ministry of Tourism signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Municipality of Larnaka to boost tourism and cultural exchanges between the two sides. 

Larnaka is one of the most important areas for inbound tourism to Cyprus, as well as being home to the main international airport on the island. While visitor numbers between both nations remain relatively low, this is an area that both sides feel can be improved through better diplomatic relations. 

“Cambodia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and MoFA Cyprus have approved the establishment of the honorary consulate of Cambodia in Cyprus on June 15, 2022, following meetings between the two ministries. Christopher Larcou was appointed as the honorary Council of Cambodia to Cyprus with an office in Larnaka,” Salah added.

As a member of the European Union (EU) Cyprus has traditionally been one of the harder visas for Cambodians to get, but it is hoped that this process will be improved.

Salah told Cambodia Investment Review: “We believe that this delegation will lead to the streamlining of the visa process for Cambodians wishing to visit Cyprus, as well increase social exchanges between the two countries”. . 

Improvement of business ties between Cyprus and Cambodia 

Aside from those involved in the tourist industry, Cypriot delegates are also scheduled to meet business leaders from several sectors including property developers, hotel and restaurant associations, as well as figures from business associations as well as chambers of commerce

Christopher Larcou Law Firm and Sok Siphana & Associates are also panned to sign an MoU during the visit.

The members of the delegation include: 

  • Nicholas Philipou, president of the Cyprus Cambodia Chamber of Commerce
  • Christopher Larcou, senior partner at Chr. Larcou & Associates LLC
  • Andri Nicolaou, PA of Larcou and Member of the Cyprus Cambodia Chamber of Commerce 
  • Dr. Christos Minas, Professor at Frederic University
  • Charalambos Gabriel, member of the Larnaka Municipality Committee, Lazaros Charalambous
  • Lazaros Charalambous, CEO of Mare Magna Shipmanagement Ltd, Vice-President of the Cyprus Marine Club and member of the Cyprus Cambodia Committee

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