Economic stakeholders addressed on Wednesday the issue of reviving Cyprus’ growth model as well as ways to navigate challenges and capitalise on opportunities for a sustainable and innovative future, during the Economist 19th Annual Cyprus Summit. President of the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) Christodoulos Angastiniotis, referred to the ongoing regional conflict and its potential impact on Cyprus. He highlighted the uncertain impact on sectors like investment, tourism, and real estate purchases by Israelis. Angastiniotis also noted the potential for increased inflation due to high international oil prices, which could put a strain on the Cypriot economy. However, he spoke about potential opportunities including Israeli companies establishing a presence in Cyprus and Israeli families relocating for safety reasons, which could benefit sectors like residential rentals, education, and more. CCCI President further emphasised the need for Cyprus to adapt its economic model in the face of challenges, including implementing reforms, advancing digital transformation, and capitalising on new sectors. Despite challenges, Angastiniotis said he was confident that with the EU’s Recovery and Resilience Plan, Cyprus can modernise its economic model and achieve long-term growth. President of the Cyprus Investment Funds Association (CIFA) Andreas Yiasemides, underlined the pivotal role of the investment fund sector in reshaping Cyprus’ economic future. In a rapidly evolving global landscape marked by geopolitical volatility and pandemic challenges, Yiasemides acknowledged that Cyprus has not been immune to these global tremors and advocated a shift towards a diverse and ring-fenced economic model capable of withstanding external shocks while fostering sustainable development. Yiasemides also pointed to a unique opportunity for Cyprus, with available funds from the Recovery and Resilience plan and the “Vision 2035” Plan, offering both the means and the roadmap to achieve these transformative targets. The investment fund sector, he stressed, stands at the forefront of this journey. In Cyprus, he added, the investment fund sector has demonstrated remarkable resilience, with over 3 billion euros already invested in the local economy out of a total of 11 billion euros. Yiasemides noted that this influx of capital into various sectors of the economy, considering Cyprus’ GDP of around 27 billion euros, is a remarkable achievement. In conclusion, Yiasemides reiterated the importance of creating a resilient and sustainable path forward to address the challenges of increased interest rates and combat inflation. He said that this path, focusing on adaptability, innovation, and diversification, will ultimately lead to the revival of Cyprus’ growth model. Chief Executive of the Israeli National Centre for Blue Economy and Innovation Hila Ehrenreich, referred to the rising tide of startups in Israel’s Blue Tech sector. These startups, as she said, with a strong focus on environmental impact, have witnessed a surge in recent years. Many of them have made the transition from traditional high-tech sectors, like cybersecurity and software, to entrepreneurship with a mission to create positive environmental change. As she said the Israeli National Centre for Blue Economy and Innovation was established through cooperation between the Israeli government and the European Union. Its primary objective, she added, was to create and lead a technological and entrepreneurial ecosystem centred around sustainable innovations. Looking ahead to the coming decade, Ehrenreich noted that the ocean was increasingly capturing public attention, and a growing awareness is manifesting in the economy. She said that the blue economy has now surpassed 2.5 trillion euros, making it the seventh-largest economy by GDP globally and predicted that this growth trend would continue. Ehrenreich stressed the importance of sustainable integration of human activity in the marine domain to minimise its impact on fragile ecosystems.
Source: Cyprus News Agency