By Stefanos Evripidou
REFORM OF the public sector and tackling bureaucracy, including the approach and attitude towards foreign investors is a great challenge but also a top priority of the government, said President Nicos Anastasiades yesterday.
In an address to the annual general meeting of the Cyprus International Businesses Association (CIBA), the president said his government was fully committed to restructuring and revitalising the economy and banking system to ensure that Cyprus would remain a reliable partner to all those entrepreneurs and investors interested in international expansion.
“And it is our firm belief that only by fully implementing all the provisions of the Memorandum of Understanding agreed with the troika can the above be achieved,” he said.
Apart from restoring confidence in the economy and banking sector, another top priority for the government is “to modernise domestic policies and create a new state model, based on concepts like meritocracy, virtuous administration and transparency”, he said.
“In this respect, a great challenge is the reform of public administration and tackling governmental bureaucracy, which also includes the approach and attitude towards foreign investors, either interested to set up their business in Cyprus or already operating in Cyprus,” he added.
A relevant action plan has already been drafted with specific recommendations for reform of the public sector, including the simplification of structures and procedures followed, use of modern technological tools, the introduction of electronic governance and synergy between the public and private sectors, said Anastasiades.
The discovery of natural gas reserves within Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone also “creates tremendous prospects for investments and cooperation in the energy sector and auxiliary services”, encouraging opportunities for co-operation between Cypriot and foreign businesses.
“This is all the more applicable if one also takes into account the government’s decision and unwavering commitment to construct a Liquefied Natural Gas Terminal” which would establish Cyprus as a regional energy hub.
Promising opportunities for growth also exist across many other sectors: Shipping, tourism, large-scale development projects, education, health, research and renewable energy, he added.