• Israel, Cyprus and Argentina – A new initiative for peace, business and more

    israel cyprus chamber of commerce

    Author: Gastón Saidman

    The new management team of the Chamber of Commerce Israel – Cyprus is preparing for a year of new initiatives with an extensive agenda. The Chamber of Commerce will be part of not only commercial projects but will also work together with the different governmental institutions to improve mutual relations between the two countries in the near future.

    The board began a series of meetings with the aim of marking its contribution on political, social and of course, commercial issues.

    The Chamber and the Parliament

    The meeting that took place last December in the Israeli Parliament marked the beginning of their relations and the establishment of the commercial ties. This achievement not only gives prestige to the members of the steering committee who were the pioneers in this new cooperation, but is also the beginning of new projects in which the Chamber will improve and enrich the relationship with Cyprus.

    Cooperation between the two Chambers of Commerce

    On December 18, a delegation arrived from the Cyprus-Israel Chamber of Commerce included the chairman, Mr. Christodoulos Angastiniotis. On that day a welcome dinner was given by the leading members of the Israel-Cyprus Chamber of Commerce including the chairman adv. Leon Amiras and the CEO Eran Cohen, also invited to this meeting was the ambassador of Cyprus in Israel, Mrs. Salina Shambos. The Chamber of Commerce began a series of activities to promote commercial ties by a number of projects that will be published on our website along with the rest of the activities from now on.  In the near future, Israel will be able to open new markets with Greece and the rest of Europe through commercial cooperation with the help of the Chamber.

     Argentina, Cyprus and Israel – the future

    Together with these projects we must highlight the important connections that our Chamber of Commerce has made recently, which will greatly help the commercial development but not only between Cyprus and Israel. The objective is to open our market to the world and vice-versa through the hard work and efforts of the chamber’s representatives.

    The Argentinian Ambassador in Israel Mr. Mariano Caucino, who is also in charge of the diplomatic relations of Argentina in Cyprus, with whom the Chamber has a great relationship, made a Christmas trip to greet the Argentine military troops of UNFICYP (United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus) as part of the forces that maintain the order between the Greco-Chiprian and Turkish Cypriot communities. Being in a conflicted zone is hard, as we already know in Israel, and despite that, the Ambassador manages to do a great job not only in commercial development but also in maintaining the peace in the area.  The Israel Cyprus Chamber of Commerce will have a fundamental role in achieving improved relations between the countries and will be the institution that opens more doors to Argentina in the Middle East and from the Middle East along with Argentina to the rest of Latin America.

    According to Adv. Leon Amiras, the Chamber will be able to help increase Argentine trade in Cyprus, especially in areas such as tourism.

    We are facing a great opportunity if we know how to take advantage of the good relations between these two countries, especially after the visit of the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Argentina in which an important rapprochement was achieved, said Ambassador Caucino in an interview for Infobae. Along with this, he said that in the future, apart from the bilateral relationship development the idea would be the promotion of shared values, human rights, human dignity and progress, there is also the interest to strengthen the bonds of scientific, technological and educational cooperation.

  • Israel and Cyprus launch commercial and parliamentary cooperation

    From left to right: Eran Cohen, Leon Amiras, Ambassador Salina Shambos, Mr. Sofronis Papageorgiou and Gastón Saidman.

    The meeting was attended by the President of the Chamber of Commerce Israel Cyprus, Adv. Leon Amiras, the General Manager of the Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Eran Cohen, the Ambassador of Cyprus in Israel, Ms. Salina Shambos and the Head, Commercial and Economic Affair  Mr. Sofronis Papageorgiou. The meeting was organized by Yediot Ha Knesset, which always supports this type of activities as a journalistic medium, granting a parliamentary information service from an internal base.

    The relationship Between Cyprus and Israel encompasses the diplomatic, military, political and commercial areas. Although during the course of history, these relations had moments of tension, especially in the 80s when Israel maintained a stable friendship with Turkey. This bond was never disconnected, on the contrary, it was strengthened thanks to commercial relations especially since natural gas was found offshore Israel, where it was discovered that the same reserves shared the maritime area with Cyprus.

    The parliamentary cooperation

    The lunch took place at 1:00 PM in the Deputies buffet at the Israeli Parliament. After a brief presentation of the participants, the ambassador expressed her gratitude at being invited to the meeting. She emphasized the following topics that need to be developed: food, tourism and the implementation of a future project that will facilitate the tax system to improve relations in the bilateral market. She also expressed her interest in participating in future conventions that will be able to promote these initiatives together with the lobby of Foreign Trade and the Ministry of Economy.

    Israel – Cyprus, the Chamber of Commerce prepares for a year of great work

    The Chamber of Commerce Israel-Cyprus was founded in 2003 to promote commercial relations and provide a solution for Israeli businesspersons interested in developing their commercial relations in this Mediterranean country.

    Dr. León Amiras President of the Chamber of Commerce Israel Cyprus: “A small market with great potential”

    Adv. León Amiras, President of the Israel-Cyprus Chamber of Commerce, added to the meeting the contribution of the Chamber for new ventures and stated the following: “The Chamber has an important list of accessible Israeli companies that are already working in Cyprus.” In this case, he stressed the importance of promoting the tourism area, as it is a market that has expanded in recent years, apart from numerous opportunities that the short distance between the two countries gives us, which allows a comfortable transport to the businesspersons on their business trips.

    Adv. Amiras summed up: “This was an excellent meeting with the Parliament where we managed to build commercial bridges between Cyprus and Israel. Cyprus is adjacent to Israel, only 40 minutes away and both countries count on good relations between companies of high magnitude in the financial, banking and tourist areas.

    Our goal is to promote important issues for both countries, not only the well-known gas industry, which has already shown results, but mainly in new markets like the examples mentioned above, in addition to medical tourism and legal and financial advice. In a world where the image of the State of Israel is so criticized, the power to consolidate relations with Cyprus will strengthen relations with Greece and the rest of Europe, not only commercial relations but also camaraderie between the two peoples.

    Eran Cohen, Gral.Manager of the Israel – Cyprus Chamber of Commerce: “It is a pride to be part of this new initiative”

    Eran Cohen expressed his pride at participating in such an important meeting, during which they discussed cooperation between the two countries and the promotion of the tax treaty between the two countries. He also commended MK Oded Forer for his contribution to advancing the objectives of the Israel-Cyprus Chamber of Commerce.
  • The gas era will revolutionize the Middle East

    Author: Gaston Saidman

    Oil was always the most used mineral because of its use in the development of multiple products that are necessary for our daily lives without us even realizing it, such as the construction of asphalt, plastic to create a simple pen and even the ink for the pen. (more…)

  • Israel-Europe gas pipeline MoU signed

    Energy Ministers from Israel, Greece, Italy and Cyprus agreed to push ahead with the 2,100 kilometer pipeline linking Israel and Italy.

    Ministers of Energy from Israel, Cyprus, Greece and Italy today signed in Cyprus a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the laying of an underwater gas pipeline from Israel to Italy, Israel’s Ministry of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources has announced. The ministry said, ‘This is a major step in promoting the laying of an underwater gas pipeline from Israel via Cyprus, Greece and Italy.”During the summit in Nicosia, the four minister put out a joint statement that this is a strategic infrastructure project representing the shared interests of the countries and the EU regarding natural gas.

    The planned pipeline will be 2,100 kilometers long, cost NIS 25 billion, and will be completed by 2025.

    Minister of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources Yuval Steinitz who has worked intensively to promote the project, said after the signing ceremony, “The vision that I declared in Israel took shape at the meeting in Cyprus today. The Israel-Italy underwater gas pipeline will make Israel an important player in the European energy market.”

    The planned pipeline will allow Israel to sign long term deals to export gas to Greece, Italy and other European markets. Steinitz said, “This project will strengthen the energy security of the EU and diversify Europe’s sources of supply of natural gas.”

  • Deutsche Bank to fight $14bn demand from US authorities

    Deutsche Bank said it would fight a $14bn demand from the US Department of Justice to settle claims it missold mortgage-backed securities, a shock bill that raises questions about the future of Germany’s largest lender.

    The claim against Deutsche, which is likely to trigger several months of talks, far exceeds the bank’s expectations that the DoJ would be looking for a figure of only up to €3bn.

    The demand adds to the problems facing Deutsche Bank’s Chief Executive John Cryan, a Briton who has been in the job for a year.

    The bank only scraped through European stress tests in July and has warned it may need deeper cost cuts to turn itself around after revenue fell sharply in the second quarter due to challenging markets and low interest rates.

    Deutsche Bank shares, which have lost around half their value this year, tumbled 7.6 per cent to €12.10 in Frankfurt on Friday, with analysts saying the bank may need to raise fresh funds from investors or sell assets to shore up its capital ratios.

    The cost of insuring Deutsche Bank debt against default rose by around eight per cent.

    The bank, which employs around 100,000 people, said it regarded the DoJ demand as an opening shot.

    “Deutsche Bank has no intent to settle these potential civil claims anywhere near the number cited,” it said in a statement.

    “The negotiations are only just beginning. The bank expects that they will lead to an outcome similar to those of peer banks which have settled at materially lower amounts.”

    Analysts said that even a hefty reduction in the bill was likely to weigh heavily on Deutsche Bank’s finances.

    “If the final bill is at €5bn or more Deutsche Bank will not be able to avoid a capital hike anymore,” said Ingo Frommen, banking analyst at LBBW.

    Deutsche Bank’s problems are likely to alarm political leaders in Europe’s largest economy and the home to the European Central Bank.

    The German finance ministry said on Friday that the government expected a “fair result” from the negotiations but that the talks were a matter for the bank and the American authorities.

    Finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble took the unusual step of voicing public support for the bank earlier this year and a senior opposition figure said he expected the government to step in as a last resort if needed.

    “The question would be how much damage would it do to the economy if the bank were to topple,” said Green Party financial spokesman Gerhard Schick.

    The DoJ has taken a tough stance in settlement negotiations with other banks, requesting sums higher than the eventual fine.

    A recent European Union ruling that Apple must pay up to €13bn in taxes to the Irish government and the forthcoming US election could complicate Deutsche Bank’s efforts to whittle down the demand.

    One of Deutsche’s top 10 investors said he expected the bank to have to pay €4-5.5bn for the mortgages case. “But because of the election campaign it may end up higher – at maybe 6 or 7bn.”

    In 2014, the DoJ asked Citigroup to pay $12bn to resolve an investigation into the sale of shoddy mortgage-backed securities, sources said. The fine eventually came in at $7bn.

    In a similar case, rival Goldman Sachs agreed in April to pay $5.06bn to settle claims that it misled mortgage bond investors during the financial crisis.

  • S&P upgrades Cyprus on ‘gradual recovery’

    in a statement, it said that it “has raised its foreign and local currency long-term sovereign credit ratings on the Republic of Cyprus to ‘BB’ from ‘-BB-’.”

    At the same time the ratings agency affirmed its ‘B’ foreign and local currency short-term sovereign credit ratings on Cyprus.

    “We expect the Cypriot economy will expand by about 2.7% this year, surpassing our March 2016 forecast, with annual growth at about 2.5% in real terms in 2017-2019,” the agency said. It said that Cyprus’ recovery is supported by resilient business services, tourism, gradually reviving private consumption, and construction. The restructuring in the financial sector is advancing, but the agency expects it will be a few years before the sector contributes to economic growth.

    “We think that the sovereign’s budgetary position will continue improving over the next few years, standing at close to balance or in surplus, with gradually declining government debt,” it noted.

    S&P said that the positive outlook reflects its view that “we could upgrade Cyprus within the next 12 months if its reduction of currently high levels of non-performing loans accelerates, indicating a convergence of Cyprus’ credit and monetary conditions, including the monetary transmission mechanism, with those of the eurozone”.

    The rating agency also expects the unemployment rate, 15 per cent at year-end 2015, will drop further to below 12 per cent by 2018, which will support households’ disposable incomes and private consumption.

    “We expect the Cypriot economy will continue to grow at about 2.5 per cent in real terms in 2017-2019, even though high levels of non-performing loans (mainly loans past due for more than 90 days and forborne loans for a minimum observance period even if they meet the new repayment programme) remain a key concern for financial stability and economic performance,” it said.

    In the long run, S&P said it also factored in the possibility of a reunification of the island, which would represent an important positive contribution to the country’s growth rate, despite initial micro- and macroeconomic challenges.