By Jean Christou
A DRAFT BILL to modernise company law will be submitted to the House by the end of this month, Commerce and Energy Minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis said on Monday.
The minister was speaking at the annual general meeting of the Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency (CIPA). The bill is part of wide-ranging efforts to step up ways to attract foreign investment.
Lakkotrypis also said that the Officer of the Registrar of Companies would be fully digitised by the end of March next year. Already, he said the files of 138,000 active companies were available online.
Between April and October this year company registrations had risen by 20 per cent, the minister said
“Investment opportunities arise today to most sectors of the economy,” he said, citing the hydrocarbons sector and tourism as the main attractions.
To help the process along, Lakkotrypis said Cyprus had secured €952 million in EU structural funding for the period 2014 to 2020, much of which would be made available for programmes and projects supporting entrepreneurship.
“The attraction of foreign investment is a key pillar of the development policy of the government,” he said. “Today, more than ever, it is necessary to strengthen our efforts for Cyprus to become really attractive to foreign investors.”
CIPA chief Christodoulos Angastiniotis said attracting foreign investment was not just a key pillar of efforts for economic growth, “but perhaps our only realistic way of achieving it”.
“Even though the economy is on the right track, there is still a lot that needs to be done. Improving the business climate is a one-way street and we have no choice but to proceed with strategic reforms and improvements,” he said. “We need a simplification of procedures, transparency, speed and sustained support to foreign investors in order to survive in the international environment.”
The findings of the World Bank’s ‘Doing Business Report 2015’ confirmed the need to take and implement drastic measures, he added.