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Bill On RoC-US Agreement For Travel Sent To House Plenary For Vote

Α bill on the agreement between the Republic of Cyprus and the United States of America for cooperation on the use of travel information is to be tabled to the House Plenary for a vote this week.

Justice Minister, Marios Hartsiotis, told the House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs that if the bill is passed on time, possibly at the end of 2024, “certainly within 2025”, we will be able to talk about visa liberalisation.

During the session, Hartsiotis briefed the Committee members on the bill concerning the agreement between the Governments of the Republic of Cyprus and the US, regarding the use of travel information. He said that the agreement is one of the conditions for the inclusion of the Republic of Cyprus in the US visa waiver program.

On a practical level, he said, travellers to the US for a period of up to 90 days will have to fill out an online application, and that, in a short time, and at minimal cost, they will receive an answer, after their information is passed through the system.

He also noted that currently, those who want to travel to the US have to go through a difficult procedure.

If everything goes well and the bill is passed on time, the Minister said, possibly by the end of the year, or certainly within 2025, “we will now be able to talk about” visa liberalisation.

Hartsiotis also referred to a “massive benefit” regarding further shielding the State against all types of risks, such as organised crime, drugs, terrorism, etc. He also said that the Republic of Cyprus would have at its disposal “perhaps one of the most perfect” information exchange systems.

Chairman of the Committee, Harris Georgiades, said that the bill is to be tabled to the plenary this week.

Digital Transactions: A Green Approach To Finance In Cyprus

As Cyprus increasingly embraces digital transactions, the environmental benefits of this shift are becoming evident. A recent report highlights that digital payments significantly reduce the carbon footprint associated with traditional banking operations. By decreasing the reliance on physical branches, paper-based processes, and the transportation of cash, digital transactions are contributing to a more sustainable financial ecosystem. This transition is in line with global initiatives to combat climate change and underscores Cyprus’ commitment to promoting a cleaner, more efficient financial landscape.

Digital transactions are not only more convenient and efficient but also significantly less resource-intensive. Traditional banking often involves extensive paperwork, the use of physical infrastructure, and the transportation of money, all of which contribute to higher carbon emissions. In contrast, digital transactions streamline these processes, resulting in lower energy consumption and reduced waste.

The environmental advantages of digital transactions are complemented by their economic benefits. By lowering operational costs and enhancing transaction speed and security, digital payments provide a compelling case for broader adoption. This shift supports sustainable development goals and aligns with the global push towards greener, more resilient economies.

Furthermore, the widespread adoption of digital transactions in Cyprus is expected to drive innovation within the financial sector. With the integration of advanced technologies such as blockchain and artificial intelligence, the digital financial landscape is set to become even more efficient and secure. These innovations not only enhance user experience but also contribute to environmental sustainability by further reducing the need for physical resources.

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