The Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency (CIPA) is looking to restore Cyprus’ image as a reliable investment destination, which was badly hurt in recent months as the island secured an international bailout.
“Following recent developments, we need as a first priority to work collectively to reverse Cyprus’ negative image abroad,” CIPA member Nicolas Theocharides said.
Cyprus’ image suffered in the months before the international bailout was secured, through international media reports claiming the island was a money laundering haven, Theocharides said.
And the bailout itself brought Cyprus’ banking sector to its knees after the closure of one lender and a seizure of deposits to recapitalise the Bank of Cyprus.
Foreign investor trust has all but been lost, Theoharides said, and CIPA needs to work to regain it.
CIPA’s efforts will focus on attending events and conducting visits abroad throughout the year, and increasing its media presence.
A new logo, Invest Cyprus, aims to place the concept of investing in Cyprus at the foreground of CIPA’s international presence, CIPA’s director general Charis Papacharalambous said.
He said they were now working on a higher budget of some €1.5 million, to cover advertising and other actions.
“At a first stage we must manage our brand,” Papacharalambous said. “We all need to be a little patient,” he added, responding to a question on why investors would be interested in Cyprus, compared with other countries offering comparable services.
He said CIPA will be looking at reversing negativity by “focusing on facts” including praise by Cyprus’ lenders on the implementation of the bailout terms, and positive assessment on regulation compliance by independent bodies.
Theocharides said CIPA was also aware that there would be investors looking at bargains in Cyprus, something that needed to be handled with care.
In the weeks and months to come, CIPA will participate in the EFAMA Investment Management Forum in Brussels, the World Forum for Foreign
Direct Investment in China, the Business and Economic Forum in Ukraine, and will have a series of meetings in London and Moscow.
It will focus on “strategic priority sectors” including energy, shipping, large development works, and services. Other sectors include medical tourism, and research and innovation.