Ministers promote Cyprus business opportunities in New York

Cypriot Ministers of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism Yiorgos Lakkotrypis and Health George Pamborides promoted Cyprus as a business hub in a conference, in New York, late on Thursday.

Organised by the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) in cooperation with the US Chamber of Commerce the conference was entitled Exploring international business opportunities in Cyprus or through Cyprus.

President of Cyprus’ Natural Gas Public Company (DEFA) Symeon Kassianides, who also addressed the conference, presented the Cypriot programme for the import of liquefied natural gas. A round table discussion on the opportunities of business activities in or through Cyprus followed.

International businesses’ representatives operating in Cyprus also addressed the conference.

Lakkotrypis presented the positive track on which the Cypriot economy has been on after the recession of 2013 reaching expected to reach 3.6% GDP growth in 2017 according to projections.

Referring to Cyprus’ advantages, he spoke, among others, of its human resources, its geostrategic position, the modern and transparent legal and taxation framework in place, the large network of 62 bilateral agreements for the avoidance of double taxation, the business tax of 12.5%.

He also outlined the positive outcomes of Cypriot tourism in recent years and referred to Cyprus’ exports, shipping and the country’s financial system which has managed to overcome adversity although it is still trying to deal with the challenge of non-performing loans.

Cyprus’ advantages is the reason why many international companies choose to have the country as their base of operations, Lakkotrypis pointed out.

Referring to the discovery of natural gas reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean the minister said that in the next twelve months many activities will take place both in Cyprus and in the other countries in the region which are expected to give a clear picture of the actual reserves that can be tapped.

He expressed the view that the best opportunities for investment in the region are in the energy sector.

On the reserves discovered in block 12 of Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), in the Aphrodite well he said it needs an investment of $2 billion. Constructing a pipeline from Aphrodite to Egypt or elsewhere would require an additional investment of $1 billion, he added.

On his part, Health Minister George Pamborides focussed on the cultivation and processing of medical hemp.

In statements, he noted that in view of the prospects ahead of the reform in the health sector in Cyprus, interest has been expressed in the area of cultivation and production of medical hemp and other areas.

Health is high in the priorities of investment funds globally and Cyprus cannot ignore this, Pamborides said. If the country wants to become known for medical tourism it should let investors know the advantages it offers in the sector of health, he added.

Investors have also shown an interest for rehabilitation centres as well as hospices.

He visits Yale University, on Friday, where he will have meetings with Rector Peter Salovey and the School of Public Health’s administration. He is also set to deliver a lecture to students on the health reforms in Cyprus.

Source: Cyprus News Agency