Cyprus ready to welcome Indian investments, including tourism

NITN | @notintownlive | 02 Dec 2017

Cyprus ready to welcome Indian investments, including tourism

Kolkata, Dec 3 (NITN): Indian film producers can now look forward to start shooting in the beautiful locales of Cyprus, assured High Commissioner of Cyprus to India, Demetrios A. Theophylactou, at a recent meeting in Kolkata.

He was speaking at a forum titled 'Cyprus : An Exotic Tourist Destination', organised by the Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry's Tourism Committee.

Deb A Mukherjee, Vice President,The Bengal Chamber, set the tone for the

Situated at the north-eastern end of the Mediterranean basin, the Republic of Cyprus is the third largest island in the region. Its scenic beauty an attraction since the days of the classics -- according to Greek legends, it was here in Pafos (Paphos) that the Goddess of Love, Aphrodite, was born out of sea foam.

Surrounded by the crystal clear Mediterranean Sea, the coastline is dotted with secluded bays, sandy beaches and rocky coves. Visitors can also participate in various water sports.

Situated at the crossroads of three continents - Europe, Asia and Africa - the island’s unique geographic position has also made it a very culturally rich country. The cultural sights, museums, monuments and galleries will take you through the county's almost 10,00 0 years old history.

The adventurous can go hiking in the forested hills or take a cycling tour through some of the most picturesque routes on the island.

As the island is on the migration path between Europe, Asia and Africa, Cyprus is a birdwatchers' dream, with flocks of flamingos frequenting the salt lakes, and many other significant species passing through or nesting.

High Commissioner Theophylactou spoke in detail about how the Cypriot economy is thriving on the services industry, and attracting global investments.

Through an illustrated talk, he discussed about the various investment channels that Indians can explore.

He added that while Cyprus' foreign direct investment in India on cumulative basis, is almost USD 8.5 billion but Indian investment in Cyprus is minimal.

The High Commissioner said that the revised tax treaty between Indian and Cyprus -- India-Cyprus Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement -- which was signed in November, 2016 has enhanced the opportunities for bi-lateral investments.

On the tourism front, he said Cyprus has undertaken large-sale developments in areas such as hotels, luxury real estate developments, marinas, leisure and theme parks, luxury resorts and golf courses, health and wellness tourism projects, and integrated casino resort.

The High Commissioner pointed out that Indian promoters of health and wellness tourism have a wide playing field in Cyprus. He himself had been to Kerala to understand one of the state's key tourism areas, natural wellness tourism.

He said that provisions may be worked out for the Indian film industry to come and shoot in Cyprus.

He also said that Cyprus has an excellent infrastructure for shooting practice and Indian sports persons and can avail the facilities too.

Anil Punjabi, Chairman of the Tourism Committee of Bengal Chamber apprised the High Commissioner about the difficulty in reaching Cyprus from India, especially the Eastern region, as well asin  obtaining visas.

Incidentally, visitors with Schengen visa can enter Cyprus (subject to other conditions) but those with a Cyprus visa cannot enter the Schengen countries.

According to a representative of AE-ES Travel Pvt Ltd, the tourist season in Cyprus lasts from April to October.

Many festivals are also held during this period, which makes it an interesting time to visit.

(Reporting by Uttara Gangopadhyay)