The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism is planning two of the most important projects in the broader area of the Mediterranean region, Cypriot Minister of Commerce Antonis Paschalides has said. He added that the projects concern the introduction of natural gas energy in Cyprus and the construction of a terminal storage station for oil. “These projects are of great importance with multiple and long term benefits, national, geostrategic and economic, while at the same time they compose a catalytic factor for the essential upgrade of our country”, he said. Addressing an international conference in Larnaka, titled «LARNAKA 21 – EMBRACING THE FUTURE», Paschalides said that the construction of a new terminal storage station for oil and as a result the transfer of the existing units of gas storage from the coastal area of Larnaka, is expected to pave the way for a more competitive oil market, for a better reserve management and for the tourism and commercial utilization of a significant part of eastern coastal area of Larnaka that remained unexploited so far. Referring to the Conference, the Minister said that the main target of it is to present the major developments that are beeing planned in the Larnaka district. Those developments will make Larnaka a European and regional centre of services, energy, tourism and culture, he said. Paschalides also said the cooperation between the government, the Cyprus Tourism Organisation and Larnaka Tourism Development and Promotion Company plays a decisive role in enhancing Larnaka as a tourist destination. The Minister also referred to the new and modern International Airport of Larnaka, noting that many other major developments, such as the Marina and the new harbor of Larnaka are under construction. As far as the sector of industry concerns, Paschalides said that the Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, in the framework of the government’s policy, has established two Industrial areas in Larnaka. The cost for establishing and maintaining those areas, in which 107 industrial units are operating, reached so far the amount of five million euro.