Joint event at the international agency’s headquarters, in the presence of the Finance Minister
Investors showed a keen interest in an event organised in London by the Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency (CIPA) and international news agency Bloomberg to present the investment opportunities Cyprus has to offer in the financial services, shipping, energy, information technology and innovation sectors.
The event took place at Bloomberg’s headquarters, in the presence of the Minister of Finance, Mr Harris Georgiades, as well as other prominent representatives of the Cyprus and United Kingdom business community.
Under the general title “Cyprus: A growing financial centre in the EU”, the event hosted speakers from relevant sectors and representatives of the State, including Mr Constantinos Herodotou, Executiver Director and member of the Board Directors of the Central Bank, Mrs Demetra Kalogerou, Chairwoman of the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission, and Mr Andreas Yiasemides, Vice chairman of the Cyprus Investment Funds Association (CIFA). Participants also included the CEOs of the three largest Cypriot banks and of international companies in the shipping, energy and technology fields that operate in Cyprus, as well as representatives of the biggest audit firms.
The most recent positive developments in the banking system were presented during the event, such as the progress that has been observed in the management of non-performing loans and the projections of bank CEOs on the future of the economy, particularly in the field of financial services. Special reference was made to the measures that have been taken by the Central Bank to ensure a stable regulatory framework.
The advantages of the investment funds sector in Cyprus, which is rapidly growing into an advanced capital management centre, were also presented followed by a discussion on the State’s plans to further boost the institutional framework so to upgrade the sector.
Representatives of foreign companies already active in Cyprus then shared their experiences of our country, analysing the reasons that led them to transfer their headquarters or to expand their business activities here. Mr Mark O’Neil, Chairman of Columbia Ship Management and Marlow Navigation, referred to the uniquely high quality of human resources in Cyprus, as well as its role as second home to an increasing number of business magnates from the UK, Germany, Israel and the Middle East. Mr Gene Kornegay, Country Manager and Vice President of Noble Energy, referred to Cyprus’ potential to develop into a regional energy hub n, while Astrobank Chairman Dr Shadi A. Karam spoke of the ease of doing business in Cyprus.
During the event, participants were asked to fill in a questionnaire assessing Cyprus as an investment destination, and to explain the reasons why they would choose the country for their investments. Of the participants, 89% said they would invest in Cyprus. The country’s quality of life emerged as the leading factor that makes it attractive with 23%, followed by its strategic location with 18% and its legal and regulatory framework with 15%.
Also within the context of the event, CIPA arranged an interview of Finance Minister Mr Harris Georgiades and the banks’ CEOs with Bloomberg television.
Mr Kyriacos Kokkinos, a member of CIPA’s Board of Directors, underlined the need for similar events to promote Cyprus in a targeted way in international markets to encourage dialogue between the businessmen active in Cyprus and the UK.
Along the same lines, the Agency’s Director General Mrs Natasha Pilidou said: “Alongside the Agency’s efforts at home to promote the necessary reforms, we must capitalise on any opportunities to promote our country abroad, particularly in the midst of important developments, such as Brexit. Our goal is to make the most out of opportunities that emerge through international circumstances, by promoting our country’s competitive advantages.”