It is a pleasure and honour being here at the first edition of the French and Cypriot Security and Defence Workshop.

At the outset I want to congratulate the Cyprus Association of Research and Innovation Enterprises, the French Maritime Industry Group (GICAN), the French Direction for International Security Cooperation (DCIS) and the Embassy of France to Cyprus for making the event a reality.

I also want to extend a warm welcome to everyone who travelled to Cyprus for participating to this event and especially to the representatives of all French companies that are present here today.

This is an important initiative that paves the way for new avenues of cooperation between our two countries and advances our ambitious agenda. Cyprus and France have a long standing and deeply rooted defence and militaty cooperation.

We consider our defence partnership with France as a strategic one and one that still has enormous potential, as was highlighted by the President of the Republic of Cyprus during his very forward looking and productive meeting with President Macron on the 3rd of May in Paris.

And in doing rightly so, our respective defence industries are already leading the way in harnessing opportunities for research, technology and innovation. Having in mind that Cypriot and French companies already work together for EU funded capabilities projects of approximate worth 150 million Euro this figure is indicative of the importance and potential.

Your cooperation and your partnership has a direct impact to our economies, industries, research and innovation.

That is why this event, which aims to bring closer our respective defence industries is so important. We need to start thinking going beyond research projects and institutionalize our bilateral defence industrial cooperation.

I would urge all French companies to take a look to what our local defence industry ecosystem is doing for identifying possible synergies and collaborations.

As the EU has now a very strong focus on developing European capabilities and promoting defence industrial cooperation between its member states, events like this one today, serve exactly this purpose.

Allow me to mention some important decisions such as the adoption of the Strategic Compass, the Versailles Declaration, the European Defence Fund, and the decision for establishing joint procurement process for defence material.

France has a well-established and reputable defence industry, one that the Republic of Cyprus has for long worked with and there is mutual trust and confidence.

The Republic of Cyprus has a growing ecosystem of companies that are active in European defence capabilities and armaments projects. Last week, at the Athens Defence Exhibition (DEFEA) we had the pleasure to participate with a number of Cypriot companies that design and manufacture defence products that are made in Cyprus. I was thrilled to see the keen interest by visitors and other companies that showed an interest in to what our local industry is doing.

By joining forces our two respective industries can harness opportunities that exist in the European Defence Agency and the European Defence Fund projects.

Therefore, I am certain that today’s event will bring closer our industries and private sector and establish important connections that may lead to future collaborative projects.

That is why the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between GICAN and CARIE, later on today, will mark the beginning of a new era that I am certain will result to more joint projects, synergies and industrial cooperation, contributing to the overarching goal of strategic and technological autonomy. I warmly welcome this development and I congratulate everyone involved.

Turning on a national level, the Republic of Cyprus is in line and in tune with the global and European trend for investing more in defence, armaments and capabilities.

Cyprus has significantly increased it defence spending in the last years and we will maintain this pace. An important part of our defence spending goes to armaments procurement as well as into research and innovation.


Allow me to highlight some key figures:


- Cypriot companies participate in ten EDIDP projects and 7 EDF projects.


- Cyprus is part of 13 PESCO projects.


- In addition, the Ministry of Defence will receive 3 million Euro from the Recovery and Resilience Fund for funding a number of dual use projects.


Distinguished Participants, Dear Friends,


We live in an era of unprecedented challenges. New threats, emerging technologies and Artificial Intelligence are changing the conduct of warfare.

The Republic of Cyprus will continue advancing and enlarging its defence partnerships, it’s bilateral, trilateral and other multilateral defence and military cooperations for acting as a pillar of stability, regional cooperation and prosperity.