President Nicos Anastasiades said that Cyprus is emerging stronger from the crisis it experienced in the past years and managed to enhance and expand its comparative advantages.
“Through the introduction of decisive and effective structural changes and the significant reductions achieved in cost and operating expenses, the already attractive investment destination that Cyprus is, has now become considerably more competitive and efficient,” Anastasiades told delegates of the Cyprus-Ukraine Business Forum in Nicosia on Friday, according to the emailed transcript of his speech.
Cyprus’s comparative advantages include a network of agreements for the avoidance of double taxation with 57 countries, a “highly qualified and professional workforce,” a tax and legal system fully harmonised with the European Union directives and a 12.5 per cent corporate tax rate making the island attractive to investment for companies operating in Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and Asia, the president said.
“The safe environment Cyprus provides, our traditional hospitality and our all-year-round good weather, have been pinpointed by various studies as comparative advantages, making our country a ‘value for money’ destination for both the occasional visitor and the investor”.
Cyprus was the largest source of foreign direct investment in Ukraine with $11.8bn (€10.5bn) “as of January 1, 2016” and the largest destination of Ukrainian investment amounting close to $6bn, Anastasiades said, citing Ukrainian statistics. He added that the eastern European country’s exports to Cyprus reached $245m last year, while the value of the island’s export of services to Ukraine was $282m.
Last year, a total of 50,000 Ukrainian tourists visited Cyprus, which was 23 per cent more compared to the year before, while arrivals this year rose an annual 16 per cent in January to April, he said.