President Nicos Anastasiades on Wednesday said the government will in the following months announce a new incentive scheme for attracting high-tech companies that will facilitate the establishment and hiring of employees, also offering tax incentives and expedited licensing procedures.
Anastasiades was addressing the crowd at the 9th Annual Cyprus International Investment Awards, held at the Presidential Palace.
According to the president, this scheme complements other initiatives undertaken recently, such as the introduction of an employment route for skilled third country nationals specialising in the information and communications sector, and the establishment of a fast-track business activation mechanism aiming to simplify the services offered by the public sector to businesses wishing to establish a presence in Cyprus.
The Cypriot economy has entered a path of recovery, growing by 12.8 per cent in the second quarter of 2021, exceeding initial expectations and showing positive prospects for the upcoming quarters, he said.
“Our motto in Cyprus is that with every challenge there is an opportunity,” he said, adding that the government’s broader strategy for economic recovery also includes the implementation of much-needed structural reforms for the further development of key economic sectors.
To this end, the government has taken a holistic approach and concrete steps to support sustainable development through the Cyprus for Tomorrow plan, which will take €4.4 billion from EU funds, namely the Recovery and Resilience Fund and Cohesion funds.
“The plan is geared towards helping economic recovery and creating a new vision for the country that would work as a roadmap for the post-Covid era,” Anastasiades said.
A National Promotional Agency is to be established through the plan, responsible for funding programmes and schemes that are expected to improve access to finance and liquidity, especially for small and medium-sized businesses, he added.
He called it a key tool in restoring economic activity and employment to the same levels as before the pandemic, and effectively leading towards a green and digital transition.
“Numerous reforms are being promoted to address the challenges we are facing, in the fields of public and local administration, the health, labour, education and justice system, as well as the liberalisation of the energy market, digital transformation and research and innovation”.
At the same time, investments in research and innovation are expected to rise as a result of grants and the establishment of a central knowledge transfer office.
The president noted that according to the latest report of the Institute for Management Development for the World Competitiveness Centre 2020, Cyprus’ ability to attract and facilitate foreign direct investment and the adaptability of its policies, have yielded remarkable results.
Particularly, Cyprus has been named the most improved country, climbing 11 spots and ranking 30th globally. The above results clearly show that over the years, Cyprus has evolved into a key destination for international business and investment in the region, with significant potential to become a world-class hub, he said.
At the same time, he assured that “we will not deviate from the path of the sound governance of public finances, complemented by a business-friendly investment environment, moving forward with a comprehensive government strategy for investment facilitation in order to transform Cyprus into the Sustainable Business and Trade Centre of Europe”.