Economy, Domestic Economy

Cyprus Evaluates Post-Sanctions Prospects

Cyprus Evaluates Post-Sanctions ProspectsCyprus Evaluates Post-Sanctions Prospects

The changes to sanctions on Iran and what they mean for the business community were analyzed during a dinner organized in Nicosia by the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the American Chamber of Commerce in Cyprus, in the presence of Minister of Commerce, Industry, Tourism and Energy Yiorgos Lakkotrypis and the US Ambassador in Nicosia Kathleen Doherty.

In his speech, Lakkotrypis said the Cyprus business community reacted to the changes to sanctions to Iran by sending fact-finding missions to identify areas for business cooperation within the Iranian market, Financial Mirror, the top-selling daily business newspaper in Cyprus, reported.

He noted that beyond opportunities in domestic exports of commodities, such as agricultural products and pharmaceuticals, the professional services industry is expected to play the primary role.

In this context, he added that the Cypriot government proceeded recently with the signing of a double taxation avoidance regime between Cyprus and Iran and a number of ministerial visits undertaken by the ministers of transport, agriculture and himself.

Lakkotrypis also said opportunities in the tourism sector are also expected. Noting that Iran offers tremendous opportunities for businesses and that already a number of European countries have made agreements with Iran, the minister urged the Cypriot business community to see how they can improve trade relations with Iran.

In her speech, Doherty spoke about recent changes to Iran’s sanctions policy and what those changes mean for businesses in Cyprus.

She said the Iran deal represents a huge diplomatic accomplishment and a significant achievement of non-proliferation and summarized some of the major changes in Iran’s sanctions regime brought about by the Iran deal.

The US ambassador reiterated Secretary of State John Kerry’s message that the US in no way intends to stand in the way of legitimate businesses dealings with Iran.

"We are in the early days of significant changes in sanctions and many companies are in the very early exploratory phase of learning what sanctions relief means for them," she said.

Doherty urged the business community to be patient, noting that “we are just two months from implementation day after decades of sanctions and thus they have to be patient as the rules become clearer.”