First Cyprus Diaspora Forum brings unprecedented business and networking opportunities

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The Cyprus Diaspora Forum held in Limassol from 6-9 March 2024, brought together Cypriot diaspora communities, prominent figures from Cyprus’ public and private sectors, media, academia, and civic society with the goal of recognising and promoting the importance of Cyprus’ diaspora while strengthening relations through entrepreneurship, innovation, philanthropy, cultural and social engagement.

Cyprus Diaspora Forum
The Cyprus Diaspora Forum gala dinner. Photos: Cyprus Diaspora Forum.
Cyprus Diaspora Forum
Cyprus Diaspora Forum
The Cyprus Diaspora Forum gala dinner. Photos: Cyprus Diaspora Forum.

The four-day B2B event, founded by Paul Lambis, was held at the Parklane Resort and Spa, and attracted prominent business professionals and talented Cypriots of the diaspora, including HNWIs and foreign investors interested in the island’s growth sectors and its unique investment opportunities.

The forum started with an exclusive Breakfast Networking Event, attended by Limassol Mayor, Nicos Nicolaides, United States Ambassador to Cyprus, H.E. Julie D. Fisher, Australian High Commissioner, H.E. Fiona McKergow, Former Commissioner for Overseas Cypriots, Photis Photiou, Secretary General of the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Marios Tsiakkis, CEO of Invest Cyprus, Marios Tannousis, Chairman of CySEC, Dr. George Theocharides, Managing Director, Cyprus Seeds, Maria Markidou Georgiadou, Director General RIK, Thanasis Tsokos, Real Estate Entrepreneur and Philanthropist, John Christodoulou, Founder and CEO, Meaningful Synergies, Branka van der Linden, and many more reputable organisations outlining the importance of Cyprus’ diaspora in forging connections and joining forces to support the island’s growth sectors and further enhancing its reputation as a dynamic business hub. 

Cyprus Diaspora Forum.
The breakfast networking event. Photos: Cyprus Diaspora Forum.
Cyprus Diaspora Forum.
Cyprus Diaspora Forum.

The Breakfast Networking Event was hosted by BBC Television and Radio Journalist, Emilia Papadopoulos, and featured entertainment by the award-winning Cyprus Choral Association, under the direction of Nikolas Therapontos, and renowned Cypriot soprano Mariza Anastasiades.

The following four days of the forum included excellently moderated panel discussions covering a wide range of topics within Cyprus’ growth sectors, such as hospitality and tourism, health and wellness, media, culture, arts, film, television, theatre, music, literature, education, sports, social and philanthropy, international relations, finance, law, energy, shipping, real estate, business, and innovation. Cypriots of the diaspora, entrepreneurs, policymakers, stakeholders, ministers and deputy ministers, government organisations, as well as business leaders from Cyprus and across the world came together to share their own perspectives, resulting in dynamic, meaningful dialogue promoting excellence through leadership.   

Cyprus Diaspora Forum
The breakfast networking event. Photos: Cyprus Diaspora Forum.
Cyprus Diaspora Forum.
Cyprus Diaspora Forum.

The Cyprus Diaspora Forum also included one-on-one fireside chats with pioneering individuals such as cultural activist, Tasoula Hadjitofi, renowned psychologist, Dr. Linda Papadopoulos, chief strategy and growth officer, Peter Abraam, President of the Recording Academy/GRAMMY Awards, Panos A. Panay, Executive Chairman of Libra Group, George Logothetis, and retail magnate and entrepreneur, Theo Paphitis.

The event concluded with an impressive gala dinner and awards ceremony attended by over 350 people, who were welcomed on arrival by the Cyprus Youth Symphony Orchestra, followed by a rich entertainment programme referencing Cyprus’ traditions through music and dance by Christos Shakallis, as well as exclusive performances by Andrew Lambrou, last year’s Eurovision representative for Cyprus, renowned Greek Cypriot singer Marilia Charalambide, Konstantinos Michaeloudes, and Vasiliki Hajiadamou, who performed with Pavlos Michaelides and his orchestra.  A special guest performance included Cyprus’ 2024 Eurovision representative, Silia Kapsis, who performed the ballade version of her song ‘Liar’.

Cyprus Diaspora Forum
The panel discussions. Photos: Cyprus Diaspora Forum.
Cyprus Diaspora Forum.
Cyprus Diaspora Forum
Cyprus Diaspora Forum.

The highlight of the gala event were the first CYDIA Awards, which honoured Cypriots of the diaspora in sixteen categories, including the Lifetime Achievement Award, which was awarded to Cypriot ‘Icon Hunter’ from the diaspora, Tasoula Hadjitofi, a globally recognised activist for human rights, religious freedom, international humanitarian law, and the protection of cultural heritage.

Tasoula Hadjitofi’s efforts were applauded by hundreds of attendees at the ceremony, including businesspeople from Cyprus and abroad, as well as ministers, diplomats, and others. The award ceremony was also followed by thousands of other viewers from around the world through digital channels.

In her acceptance speech, Tasoula Hadjitofi delivered powerful messages to the audience. Addressing the present representatives of the Cyprus Government and political parties, she specifically mentioned, “the moment you realise the power Cyprus will have when you embrace the Diaspora, for Economic Diplomacy, for Security Diplomacy, and the moment we change the ‘narrative’ about what happened in Cyprus, the narrative we have been promoting for 50 years now that ‘does not sell’, then that is the moment Cyprus will be free.”

Cyprus Diaspora Forum.
Panel discussions continued. Photos:Cyprus Diaspora Forum.
Cyprus Diaspora Forum.
Cyprus Diaspora Forum.

The presentation of Tasoula Hadjitofi’s work and her speech, spread waves of emotion, while the audience stood up and applauded incessantly. Throughout the evening, numerous people expressed their desire to actively contribute to her cause, including people from various other nationalities who live permanently in Cyprus, expressing their desire and intention to strengthen it.

Cyprus Diaspora Forum.
There were special performances that took place as part of the Cyprus Diaspora Forum. Photos: Cyprus Diaspora Forum.
Cyprus Diaspora Forum.
Cyprus Diaspora Forum.
Cyprus Diaspora Forum.

The complete list of winners for the CYDIA 2024:

  • Culture and Arts: Christina Dymioti, Director, Fashion Heritage Network Cyprus, United Kingdom
  • Education: Christina Shailas, Founder and CEO, Gear Education, USA, Cyprus
  • Film, TV, Drama and Music: Stelana Kliris, Film writer, Director, Producer, South Africa, Cyprus
  • Literature: Helena Kidd, Author, Australia
  • Media: Emilia Papadopoulos, Television and Radio Journalist, United Kingdom, Cyprus
  • Movement for Change: Peter Kypri, Comedian and Video Creator, United Kingdom, Cyprus
  • Social and Philanthropy: Catherine Constantinides, Humanitarian and Environmental Activist, South Africa
  • Sports: Vladimiros Tziortzis, NASCAR Professional Racing Driver, Cyprus
  • Health and Wellness: Dr. Linda Papadopoulos, Renowned Psychologist, United Kingdom
  • Hospitality and Tourism: Miranda Tringis, Founder, Cyherbia Botanical Park, The Netherlands, Cyprus
  • Real Estate: Jenny Ellinas, Founder and CEO, Cypriot Realty, South Africa, Cyprus
  • Startups and Innovation: Tanya Romanyukha, Head of Operations, TechIsland, Cyprus
  • Finance and Commerce: George Moulos, Managing Director, Ecommerce Brokers, Australia, Greece, Cyprus
  • Entrepreneurship: Peter Abraam, Chief Strategy and Growth Officer, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Australia
  • Contribution to Society: Yianis Christodoulou Foundation, Cyprus, United Kingdom, Other Countries
  • Diaspora Ambassador Award: Andreas Dometakis, Tailor and Patternmaker for Film, TV, and Theatre, United Kingdom
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Tasoula Hadjitofi, Cultural Activist, The Netherlands, Cyprus

The Cyprus Diaspora Forum 2024 left the best impressions to all attendees and was extensively covered in local and global press. The founders of the forum are already making plans for its second year, promising an even bigger event in 2025.

The event is supported by the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN Cyprus), Invest Cyprus, Cyprus Seeds, TechIsland, Cyprus Business Group, and various other credible organisations both in Cyprus and abroad.

To find out more about the various partnership opportunities, email: cyprusdiasporaforum@gmail.com

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