President: City of Dreams Mediterranean, the biggest investment project in Cyprus with enormous economic benefits

The City of Dreams Mediterranean Casino Resort is the biggest investment project undertaken in Cyprus with enormous benefits for the economy, President Nicos Anastasiades said, in an address during the Groundbreaking Ceremony of the Casino Resort in the coastal city of Limassol.

The President spoke of an historic day and a major milestone for Cyprus for which, as he noted, he cannot but feel extremely satisfied of what the joint collaboration of the public and private sectors has achieved.

“To fast-track the necessary procedures so as by 2021, Cyprus’ first integrated casino resort, a landmark for Cyprus but also for the wider region, will be fully operational,” he said.

President pointed out that foreign direct investment constitutes a fundamental pillar towards sustainable economic growth and prosperity and this particular project has extraordinary benefits for our economy, with positive impact on the country’s Gross Domestic Product and in tackling unemployment.

According to the President, the 550 million euro project is expected to create around 4,000 jobs annually during the construction period and will eventually contribute to the creation of approximately 6,500 direct, indirect and induced full-time jobs in Cyprus when the resort is fully operational.

In parallel, a temporary casino will operate in Limassol until the casino resort is completed, while the project also includes the operation of four satellite casinos in Nicosia, Larnaca, the Famagusta Area and Paphos. Further, on the basis of the results of the relevant economic impact study, the resort’s contribution to the economy from the second year of being fully operational is estimated to be around 700 million euros or 4% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product. Moreover, the casino resort is set to enrich Cyprus’ tourist product, attracting an additional 300,000 tourists annually and contributing significantly to combating seasonality, he added.

The President spoke of a remarkable recovery the Cyprus economy has achieved and of a promising future, where real GDP growth of 4% was recorded in 2017, while macroeconomic forecasts show a robust growth of more than 3,5% in the coming years. Unemployment, he added, has also been reduced to 8.6% and is expected to be reduced even further.

To this end, tourism and leisure have traditionally been key driving forces of the Cypriot economy, contributing significantly to the country’s Gross Domestic Product. Only last year, tourist arrivals marked an all-time record, reaching an impressive 3 million 700 thousand arrivals, amounting to almost 15% increase in comparison to 2016, President Anastasiades said.

He underlined that the new tourism strategy for 2030 takes on a comprehensive and holistic approach with parallel actions, aiming at reducing seasonality, targeting the premium market, developing niche products and, of course, diversifying and enriching our existing portfolio.

And City of Dreams, we feel, is at the heart of this strategy and a symbol of our commitment to continuous progress. Our country is much more than just an attractive sun and sea tourist destination. Due its natural advantages, Cyprus has all the prerequisites to be established as a regional and, why not, global premium destination, a genuine point of reference for luxury tourism and responsible gaming, he said.

The President expressed hope that the proposal for creating a Deputy Ministry of Tourism will soon be adopted by the Parliament, as it will strengthen our joint cause on further strengthening and diversifying our tourism product.

In his address the President also said that Cyprus retains a strong reputation as a modern, transparent and dynamic business centre of excellence for international business activities.

Capitalizing on our strategic location and committed to offering the best possible experience to foreign investors, we strive to continuously improve the business and investment environment and to ensure a stable and robust economic context.

Enhancing our competitive edge in areas in which we have traditionally excelled, such as tourism, is only one step towards our ultimate goal to expand our economy and attract investments of substance, he added.

He said that over the past few years the government has introduced a series of structural reforms, which have resulted in the simplification of administrative procedures and the modernization of the state. Moreover, he added, the government has worked on improving further the already attractive tax and legal framework and have introduced incentives, to support key growth sectors of the economy.

In a business-friendly environment, with a highly skilled and multilingual workforce, where quality of life is of the highest standard and doing business is simple, fast and efficient, international businesses will find room to prosper and grow, he concluded.

Source: Cyprus News Agency