Cyprus Mail

Generous incentives for tech park investors

The science and technology park in Qatar. The government hopes for something similar in Cyprus

By Angelos Anastasiou
The government will press ahead with plans to create a “technology park” in Pentakomo, Limassol by launching incentives international research and development companies, according to commerce ministry permanent undersecretary Stelios Chimonas.
The idea of a technology park in the area of Governor’s Beach has been floated – idly, so far – for almost a decade but the decisive step for its materialisation was never taken.
But the urgent need to attract foreign investment into Cyprus seems to have triggered the government into action, with plans to announce a series of incentives – mostly in the form of tax-breaks for investors – that aim to nudge companies into deciding to set up shop in Cyprus.
Such enticements will include deductibles of non-residents’ salaries – 50 per cent for high-earners over €100,000 annually, and 20 per cent of salaries lower than this threshold.
Other incentives will include tax-breaks for expenditure on acquiring patents or copyrights, buying shares in innovative businesses and start-ups, and additional breaks for the cost of buying fixed assets to be used in innovative operations, as well as employing previously unemployed individuals.
Apart from tax-breaks and an initial five-year grace period – on a 50-year lease of state land – for the strategic investor that will undertake construction and running of the park, during which no rent will be payable, the government plans to pursue an “aggressive” marketing strategy in order to attract companies.
The Limassol Chamber of Industry and Commerce has already circulated a brochure listing the advantages a research and development company could reap if it moved operations to Cyprus, stressing eligibility for European research and innovation funds.
Further items that sweeten the deal for a strategic investor are the right to build an on-site hotel accommodating up to 100 guests, featuring restaurants and a conference centre, and an array of government-funded projects up to €3 million, including the road network and setting up power, telecommunications and water supply.
Chimonas was quoted by daily Politis as saying that by next month everything will be in order so that tenders can be invited for the construction and operation of the science centre. The invitation will include all the incentives and will allow four months for interested parties to prepare their bids.
“I believe we will have a successful bidder by the end of the first quarter of 2016,” he said.
The long-term vision of the project is to promote co-operation in research and innovation, he added.
“Success for this park would be the co-operation of the companies that choose to house themselves there with the research centres of Cypriot universities and other research institutes,” the commerce ministry’s perm-sec said.
“This is what we aspire to achieve. Transforming research into innovation.”

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