Cyprus is not a tax haven but it is a competitive investment destination due to the legal framework, investors, natural wealth and skilled labour, finance minister Constantinos Petridis told CNBC on Tuesday.
“The Cypriot economy attracts global foreign investment due to its resilience, and this is something that has been proven since the financial crisis of 2013, Petridis said.
Asked about the G7’s proposal to harmonise corporate tax globally at the reference level of 15 per cent, Petridis noted that the initiative provides a good opportunity for tax reform on the island. The Cyprus tax system has not been restructured in the past 20 years, he added.
The Cypriot economy has shown resilience during the crisis of the coronavirus pandemic and this is something that can be seen from the fact that Cyprus had less recession than other European countries.
Petridis said that the successful response to the economic crisis which was a consequence of the pandemic was the result of prudent fiscal policy in previous years, and the control of risks in several sectors like that of energy.
For 2021, the Cypriot economy is expected to grow in output by about 4 per cent, while tourism is expected to recover in the medium term thanks to the improved management of the coronavirus crisis, the finance minister noted.
We are ready to welcome tourists to Cyprus” the minister said. The CNBC reporter asked whether tourists would be able to come, as their governments do not all allow them to visit Cyprus, referring to the decision of Boris Johnson for the extension of the restrictions – lockdown will continue in that country for another month at least.
Petridis stated that he understands that “Cyprus does not decide alone and we are not alone in the world”, however he hopes that in the coming weeks the restrictions on visiting Cyprus will be lifted and expects that arrivals in Cyprus will reach about 50 per cent of arrivals of 2019.
Tourists from the UK account for about one third of all Cyprus visitors. The ‘traffic light system’ classes countries as either Green, Amber or Red. Cyprus is in the restricted Amber category.
EU travellers can, under recent legislation, enter and leave any Member State if they can prove that they are vaccinated. But the UK is not under this regime.