Cyprus remains a competitive center for international businesses, President stresses

Cyprus continues to be a highly competitive center for international businesses, despite the economic difficulties the country faced in the last few years, President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades has said.

Speaking on Friday evening at the 24th Annual General Meeting of the Cyprus International Business Association (CIBA), in Limassol, the President also noted that the business services sector demonstrated considerable resilience during the recent crisis and highlighted its potential for further grow as the trust towards Cyprus’ economy is being restored.

Today, the majority of economic sectors demonstrate significant potential for growth, the President went on, pointing to the business and financial services sector, tourism, shipping, education, health, and energy.

He emphasized, moreover, the strong commitment of the government to continue working so that Cyprus remains firmly on a path of sustainable growth.

It is through the joint efforts of the government and the industry that we shall succeed in making Cyprus a world-class destination for business and investment the President underlined.

He referred, moreover, to the reforms pursued by the government with regard to public finances, as well as in tax administration and the banking sector, saying that efforts have delivered concrete results.

Cyprus is currently one of the fastest growing economies of the EU, with a GDP growth rate close to 4% President Anastasiades said and noted that this growth rate is expected to remain at similar levels for the next coming years.

He also underlined that a balanced budget is being adopted for a fourth consecutive year, while the primary surplus reached 3% in 2016.

The President added that the Deputy Ministry for Shipping will come into effect in 2018, while the creation of Deputy Ministries for Growth and Competitiveness, as well as for Tourism are currently being discussed by the Parliament.

Following successive upgrades by rating agencies, the sovereign rating of the Cyprus economy is just one notch below investment grade, which confirms in the best possible way that we are on the right path towards full re-establishment of confidence towards Cyprus in the international investor community the President underlined.

He acknowledged, however, that more needs to be done. Indeed, we are still facing challenges, such as the high percentage of non-performing loans or the fact that unemployment is still at a higher than desired rate, although in the last few months it has been considerably decreasing the President noted.

He congratulated finally CIBA for its role in promoting Cyprus as an international business center and expressed his appreciation for the support of its members during the crisis. Their choice to remain here was a vote of confidence in Cyprus he said and assured them that the country will remain a stable, safe and reliable partner.

Source: Cyprus News Agency