Cyprus is registering positive growth rates, President says

Cyprus is registering positive growth rates, President says

Cyprus is registering once again positive growth rates, President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades has said, adding that the country is witnessing significant initial demand for new ventures.

In his welcoming address at the Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency`s International Investment Awards 2015, organised for the fourth consecutive year, the President said that it is our firm conviction that the government has a duty not only to open the way, develop opportunities and establish incentives for business, but to create the ideal environment where business can flourish and maximise returns on investments.

“If the world economic history has taught us one thing, it is that the Government’s role is not to substitute entrepreneurship but instead to open the road by removing obstacles and distortions such as those posed by bureaucracy and high taxes”, he said, and referred to the measures taken by the government that aim to modernize the island`s taxation framework, making it more competitive and fair.

He said that for the past 2 years Cyprus is implementing a program of economic reform and fiscal consolidation. “I fully acknowledge that more needs to be done. But standing before you, I can state that our economy has indeed stabilized and has already turned the page”, he said.

The President noted that thanks to the collective hard work, the determination and sacrifices of our people, Cyprus is registering once again positive growth rates.

Referring to unemployment he pointed out that it has stabilized and is showing the first signs of de-escalation.

“Public finances are under control. Capital controls have been lifted. Market access has been re-established. Rating agencies have offered us successive upgrades. All these testify to our determination to close the chapter of uncertainty and recession once and for all”, he added.

The Cypriot President noted that all of the aforementioned positive signs of recovery are also widely reflected in the number and size of foreign investments that the country has witnessed over the past 12 months.

In the past year, he went on to say, we have seen some of the most sizable Foreign Direct Investments distributed over a number of sectors including the banking sector, tourism, real estate, energy, telecommunications and professional services to mention a few.

“Only last month, the terminal of the VTT Vasilikos (VTTV) for the storage and management of petroleum products, a 300 million euro project, was inaugurated and started operating, reminding everyone that Cyprus is not only standing on its feet but moving forward towards the success it deserves”, he noted.

Furthermore, he said that “we are witnessing significant initial demand for new ventures such as the Port facilities, the Integrated Casino Resort, the new marina of Ayia Napa and others”.

The President said that “it comes as no surprise that in a recent study conducted by CIPA, foreign investors have expressed significantly higher levels of optimism about the course of the Cyprus economy, recognizing also the growth prospects it offers”.

As regards energy, he said that it is a strategically important multi-billion sector with promising potential, not only through the discovery of offshore natural gas, but also through renewable energy sources adding that only last month, Block 12 of our Exclusive Economic Zone was declared commercial by Noble Energy, Delek Drilling and Avner Oil Exploration.

“Promising opportunities for growth also exist across many other sectors, such as shipping, tourism, large-scale mixed-use development projects, education, health, research and innovation”, he went on to say.

The President expressed the view that the solution of the Cyprus question is going to be one of the most important elements for having investment stability and growth.

“I am committed to work tirelessly in order to find a solution that will accommodate the concerns of both Greek and Turkish Cypriots and establish a European country all over the island”, he concluded.

CNA/AAR/ΤΝΕ/2015
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY