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Critical meeting to save Chinese airport deal

The Minister of Communications and Works, Efthimios Flourentzou, will meet the Chinese investor interested in redeveloping the old Larnaca airport in an effort to persuade him not to pull out.

CYPRUS Minister of Communications and Works Efthimios Flourentzou will hold a meeting with the Chinese investor Yang Ki on Wednesday, during which he will try to convince him not to withdraw his interest regarding the Larnaca airport investment project.

Speaking to the Cyprus News Agency, Flourentzou said that he received a letter from the Chinese investor on August 14, informing the government that he was no longer interested in the Larnaca project due to lengthy and complex procedures.

Flourentzou said that lengthy and complex procedures in the Chinese airport investment project were not the case. “From our side there were not lengthy and complex procedures. Contrarily, there was an accelerated process”, he added.

Replying to a question, Flourentzou said that he will have a meeting at his office with the Chinese investor, next Wednesday, August 22, at 3.00 pm.

“My effort will be focused on convincing him to withdraw his letter, with which he announced his intention to withdraw his interest from the airport investment project, and let the process of the evaluation of his investment proposal to be concluded”, he said.

Chairman of Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency (CIPA) Christodoulos Angastiniotis, speaking to CNA said that the decision of Yang Ki to withdraw his investment interest due to lengthy and complex procedures is justified.

He also said that CIPA is not participating in the evaluation committee for the Chinese investment project in the old Larnaca airport. However, he said, CIPA is participating in the Rapid Licensing Mechanism for the implementation of Strategic Investments.

Angastiniotis said that a big number of cases are pending before the Rapid Licensing Mechanism for the implementation of Strategic Investments, which had its first meeting on August 1, 2012. However, CIPA Chairman refrained from getting into details about the proposals for investments in Cyprus.

On March 28, 2012, Hermes Airports, the company managing Cyprus’ airports, and Far Eastern Phoenix concluded a €600 million investment deal, believed to yield big financial benefits for Cyprus.

Under deal, Far Eastern Phoenix planned to redevelop the old Larnaca airport; building a commercial showroom for Chinese products, an exhibition area, bonded warehouses and a small conference centre.

Chinese multi-million airport deal collapsed

Readers' comments

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  • Adrian says:

    The reason that it was complex and extended was because The Ministry for passing on letters did not know if it was to pass it on to the ministry for extending leases or to Development or to CIPA and so as not to offend anybody they just sit on it for a while!!

  • Costas Apacket says:

    Frank, I agree with your comments, but you should know that it’s never the fault of the Cypriot Government.

    That’s why Cyprus is where it is today, somebody else is always to blame.

  • Denton Mackrell says:

    @Frank. My thoughts exactly!

  • Martyn says:

    Sounds like the proverbial ‘last ditch’ effort and it’s fascinating to see the varying comments about ‘timings’, hardly indicates speed and efficiency on the part of the Cyprus government, who I recall were also asking for a Loan to help shore up the Cyprus banks, government, economy. As with many, most even!, ‘last ditch’ efforts the delaying party will typically have to give away more than originally offered in order to ‘rescue’ it.

    Personally I hope that the deal can be clinched as Cyprus needs not just this Investment but a variety of others if it is to ‘turnaround’ it’s flagging economy, so far the ‘press’ has not been good on this ‘deal-clinching’ score, you only have to look at the dates and the various government press announcements in the recent articles. This country needs to treat this sizeable Chinese deal as a Wake-Up Call and use it as a springboard to rebuilding its broken economy without further delay.

  • Frank says:

    By announcing that the Cyprus government received a letter from the Chinese investor on August 14, informing the government that he was no longer interested in the Larnaca project due to lengthy and complex procedures: then continuing that: “From our side there were not lengthy and complex procedures. Contrarily, there was an accelerated process”; Minister Flourentzos is accusing the Chinese would-be investor of being a liar. As the Chinese are very conscious of maintaining ‘face’; it appears that Mr Flourentzos has applied the coup de grace to any hopes for the Larnaca Airport project.

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