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President says he working to ensure sustainable development

President Nicos Anastasiades said on Thursday that the government is continuing to work determinedly towards the development of the economy and to boost main productive sectors.

In his speech at an official dinner of the Employers and Industrial Federation (OEV), he also said that upgrading of research and innovation issues under a deputy ministry, would significantly contribute to the necessary modernisation of the sector.

He spoke of the need to improve governance in the field of research and innovation and pointed to the cabinet’s decision to establish the National Council for Research and Innovation and the appointment of a chief scientist, with the aim of encouraging innovative entrepreneurship.

He said that within two weeks he intended to invite his fellow candidates in the last presidential elections to cooperate in order to achieve a series of reforms, taking into account the proposals that they had campaigned on.

Twenty-six of these proposals he described as feasible, while 56 others were common between all candidates.

Referring to the reforms that the government was planning the president said that they would enhance the competitiveness of Cypriot businesses and would create an even more attractive environment for domestic and foreign investment.

Among the reforms mentioned by the president are the establishment of an e-Justice system, the implementation of National Health System from June 1, 2019, the promotion of public sector reforms in terms of recruitment, evaluation and staff development, the promotion of eGovernment, the reform of local government and the implementation of a new tourism strategy.

Referring to the banking sector, the president said that the government, in full compliance with strict supervisory, transparency and compliance rules, had achieved a significant consolidation of the sector and a healthier basis for capitalisation, liquidity, profitability, loan approvals and restructurings.

He also stressed the reduction in non-performing loans (NPLs) from €28.4 billion to less than €12 billion.

The president also said that he expected a more rapid response to the problem of NPLs, after the recent expansion of the insolvency framework, the improvement of the effectiveness of the legislative framework and the promotion of the Estia scheme, to protect the main residence of vulnerable borrowers.
The establishment of the Asset Management Company, to manage the NPLs and other assets of the former Cyprus Co-operative Bank, was a new important source of public revenue that would make public debt absolutely viable he said.

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