Cyprus economy is heading in the right direction and new foreign investment has started to flow in, Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency Chairman said Wednesday, noting that following the government’s decision to licence an integrated casino resort and privatize a number of state-owned organisations, important foreign direct investments are expected.
Addressing the 3rd CIPA International Investment Awards ceremony, at the Presidential Palace, Angastiniotis said that “prospects are now opening up as the country transitions into a new phase, veering towards stability and fiscal consolidation while examining new engines of growth as investors continue to show confidence in our country”.
Angastiniotis noted that the government has implemented a series of measures and reforms to boost the economy and attract investments through modernising legislation, promoting development projects, diversifying tourism, introducing tax incentives and speeding up licensing procedures.
He also said that rengineering various government departments and procedures also stand as some of the top priorities that will further improve the overall investment climate.
“The government’s efforts are now bearing fruit and have been acknowledged on an international level” he said, noting that “the economy is heading in the right direction and due to everyone’s constructive contribution new foreign investment has started to flow into Cyprus”.
According to CIPA Chairman the professional services sector has recently seen a notable rise in company registration applications, whereas tourism has witnessed a number of investments mainly in the hotel industry and medical tourism is also attracting the eye of foreign investors.
He said that the real estate sector has witnessed a year-on-year 23% rise over the last 7 months, a development arising mainly from the incentive schemes relating to permanent residency and citizenship and that the Funds under management in Cyprus have risen by 6%, “a clear indication that there is significant potential in this sector”.
“The banking sector has possibly seen the biggest ever flow of foreign investment into Cyprus with international investors from various geographic locations being involved in the recapitalisation of the country’s biggest banks” he noted.
He then said that the foreseen development of the hydrocarbon industry in conjunction with the many competitive advantages Cyprus offers have already attracted the attention of global leaders such as Schlumberger, Halliburton and others.
“Naturally, the discovery of natural gas reserves in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone creates immense prospects for investment and cooperation in the energy field, having already created a new impetus to encourage opportunities for cooperation between Cypriot and foreign enterprises. As such, the country appears destined to play a vital and strategic role as the energy hub of the Eastern Mediterranean which in turn opens up further opportunities for a number of correlated sectors such as shipping, another very important and successful sector of our economy with proven resilience” he noted.
Angastiniotis said that “important foreign direct investments are expected following the government’s decision to licence an integrated casino resort that will also enhance and enrich the country’s tourism product, as well as through the decision to privatize a number of state-owned entities performing commercial operations”.
Despite all these, there are still important challenges we have to face, he said, adding that Cyprus is moving forward and will overcome the challenges ahead and become a top quality business centre which will offer new opportunities and incentives for many foreign investors.
“Doing business in Cyprus is becoming more flexible, more efficient, more competitive and more transparent for all concerned”, he said.
Published on 11 September, 2014