On the occasion of the National Day of the Republic of Cyprus, the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has the pleasure to extend the warmest congratulations to Cyprus and the Cypriot people.
Cyprus is a member of the European family as well as a close bilateral partner. We share a good cooperation and a continuous dialogue on European matters – as manifested during the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, but also on a day-to-day basis, when our experts and ministers stand side by side in the EU Council meetings, working to promote our common interests and to overcome the current challenges of Europe. Consolidating the European Union, our common home, and finding the best answers to strengthen it in turbulent times is a shared responsibility that we are acutely aware of.
Our bilateral relation is robust and expanding at a steady pace to the benefit of both our countries and communities. Cyprus is currently the fourth foreign investor in Romania with more than 6.000 companies on our national market and over 4.6 billion euros invested capital, representing 10,3% of total foreign direct investments. We see a continued vigorous increase of our bilateral trade exchange, with almost 14% increase in 2019, as compared to the same period in 2018, coming after an excellent performance last year, when the trade volume was 114.52 million euros, up 18.84% as compared to 2017.
The interest for developing the trade potential was manifest during the Romania-Cyprus Business Forum, organized in April of this year, by the Romanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Romania-Cyprus Bilateral Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the margins of the visit in Romania of the Cypriot Minister of Energy Trade and Industry, Mr. Yiorgos Lakkotrypis. More than 50 Cypriot and Romanian companies participated in this forum and the positive echoes in the business environment will certainly continue to be felt in the following months.
However, we would do an injustice to refer to trade only when it comes to our bilateral relation; the cooperation projects we share on a range of policies from education to culture, archaeology, youth and sport, speak of a deep-seated cultural affinity, a traditional empathy between our peoples, as well as strong people-to-people contacts. That is not only evident for the increasing number of Romanian tourists who chose every year the beautiful island of Cyprus to enjoy the rich culture and traditions, the contact with the different layers of ancient civilisations, its unique flavours. It also evident for those Romanians who have chosen Cyprus as their second home, living and working, well integrated in their host society. It is thanks to the Cypriot authorities and their positive attitude and policies that our fellow Romanians continue to preserve their identity, in terms of culture, language and spirituality, while being, at the same time, contributing members of the Cypriot society.
As EU member states we are bound together by common values and by our common aims towards stability, growth, solidarity, security and social cohesion – the aims that Romania, while assuming the mandate of the EU Council Presidency, placed high on the agenda, aware that they were only to be achieved through the cooperation and dialogue of all member state. We are satisfied to have Cyprus along in this endeavour of achieving the great ideals that the European Union is standing for and to ensure the long-standing peace and prosperity in Europe.
The celebration of the National Day of Cyprus is also an occasion of celebration for Romania. On behalf of the Romanian people, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs conveys the warmest thoughts of peace and prosperity to the Republic of Cyprus, on the 59th anniversary of its Independence.