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13 June, 2024
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Vafeades confirms Qatar’s interest in Larnaca Marina development

Larnaca port and Marina upgrade gains momentum with foreign investors


Transport Minister Alexis Vafeades announced on Thursday that Qatar and other international investors have shown interest in the development of Larnaca Port and Marina. Vafeades will present a detailed timetable to the President of the Republic following a meeting with the local community on Friday.

The minister expressed optimism that the transfer of the marina to the Ministry of Transport would be finalized by the end of the day.

Speaking at an International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Cyber Security in Civil and Air Force in Larnaca, Vafeades addressed questions about Qatar’s interest and reports of other potential investors. He stated that Qatar's interest is part of a broader trend of foreign investment funds and countries recognizing Cyprus’s stable economy and looking to invest.

“The visit of the Emir of Qatar was exploratory in nature,” Vafeades said. “The discussions about the Marina and the Port of Larnaca fit within this framework.”

Vafeades confirmed plans to resubmit the project in accordance with public procurement laws, hoping to attract bids from Qatar and other investors.

“This interest is crucial for us. It indicates that Cyprus is an appealing investment destination, and we are proceeding with confidence that we will succeed,” he said.

Regarding the project’s timeline, Vafeades mentioned that Friday’s meeting in Larnaca with the local community would inform the scheduling. “We will consider all suggestions made and set a timetable accordingly,” he noted.

The President has emphasized the urgency of the project, Vafeades added. “He has instructed that a timetable be established promptly, and after tomorrow’s meeting, I will report back to him.”

Larnaca, historically the first city in Cyprus to have a port, will eventually boast a modern port and marina, Vafeades highlighted. “Both the port and marina activities in Larnaca require significant upgrades, and we are committed to making that happen.”

He stressed that these developments would benefit not only Larnaca but the entire country, making the project a top priority for the government.

On Wednesday, the government reached an agreement with employee representatives at the port and Larnaca Marina. Vafeades described it as a positive outcome that underscores the government's commitment to its workforce. “This agreement shows our priority towards employees, ensuring a promising future for them,” he said.

There have been no disruptions in port operations or in the loading of ships, Vafeades assured, noting the continuous service provided to the economy and the unimpeded implementation of the "Amalthea" project. “Maintaining this critical infrastructure without any interruptions is a significant success for Cyprus,” he said.

The Ministry of Transport is in the process of taking over marina operations, Vafeades confirmed. “While the transfer is not yet complete, the marina is functioning normally, and we hope to finalize this today.”

Addressing concerns from the Association of Berthed Vessels of Cyprus, Vafeades stated that the state’s control of the marina marks a new phase. The government will promptly seek an investor, and until then, it will manage any operational issues to ensure normal functioning.

Regarding fees, Vafeades explained that the ministry follows a legislative process, and current fees will remain until any changes are legally approved. “We will review the fees and adhere to the legal procedure to establish new rates approved by the Cypriot state,” he concluded.

[With information sourced from CNA]

Cyprus  |  minister  |  Larnaca

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