Today, within the framework of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Economic Diplomacy Strategy, the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr Nikos Christodoulides inaugurated the 1st UK-Cypriot Diaspora Economic Diplomacy Roundtable. The roundtable is a joint initiative between the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK, the High Commission of Cyprus in the UK and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cyprus. Under the leadership of Minister Christodoulides, Economic Diplomacy has been identified as one of the main pillars of Cyprus’ foreign policy. The roundtable highlights the importance of Cyprus’ diplomatic network, as well as the Cypriot diaspora, as enabling elements for the development of this policy.

The roundtable brings together successful Cypriots across all professions in the UK in confidential, results-oriented forum to develop a strategic and comprehensive approach to Cypriot economic diplomacy in the UK, as well as advance the UK Cypriot diaspora. The inaugural meeting was hosted at the Bloomberg Offices in London. The main issues that were discussed at the roundtable included the importance of defining a coherent ‘Brand Cyprus’; the diversity of the Cypriot economy and the competitiveness of emerging sectors; the engagement of third- and fourth-generation diaspora Cypriots; and the importance of identifying strategic opportunities in view of the Brexit process. Participants also agreed to meet on an annual basis, based on the Foreign Minister’s schedule.

In his remarks, Foreign Minister Christodoulides outlined the key pillars of Cyprus’ foreign policy and the framework of economic diplomacy. He commented that “the Cypriot diaspora have a crucial role to play in identifying priorities for the economic diplomacy strategy.” The Foreign Minister also welcomed the honest and constructive discussion of the economic diplomacy roundtable and expressed readiness to develop this process.

Speaking after the event, Federation President, Christos Karaolis, “I’d like to express my gratitude to the Foreign Minister for putting our diaspora at the heart of the Economic Diplomacy strategy. As a UK Cypriot diaspora we have excelled across a number of professions and I’m pleased that so many great examples of successful UK Cypriots are participating in the roundtable. Their expertise, insights and perspectives are crucial as we think about how to best utilize all the talents of our diaspora for the benefit of Cyprus and our diaspora.”

The roundtable participants included Christos Karaolis (Federation President and Partner Bain & Company); Rt. Hon. Lord Andrew Adonis (former Secretary of State for Transport); Peter Charalambous (Appointments Commissioner for States of Jersey); Constantin Cotzias (Director of Bloomberg Europe); Noel Josephides (recently retired Chairman of Association of British Travel Agents); Kypros Kyprianou (CEO of Theo Paphitis Retail Group); Maria Kyriacou (President of ITV International); Louis Loizou (Chair of the Hellenic Bankers Association); Rt. Hon. Dame Janet Paraskeva (Chairman of the Council for Licensed Conveyancers); Phanos Theophanous (Managing Director at Barclays – UK International Private Bank); Lorna Tilbian (Chairman of Dowgate Capital); Tom Toumazis MBE (Chair of three start-ups, Tagsmart, Fusebox Games and TVbeat); and Soulla Tsioupra-Lewis (Chief People Officer at The Telegraph Media Group).