Despite the recent improvement across a number of economic performance indicators, Association of Large Investment Projects president Andreas Demetriades on Tuesday called for a concerted response and an immediate course of action to bolster the local economy.

“The association is seeking the removal of bureaucracy, distortions and obstacles, so that the 25 major projects, with a total value of more than €7 billion, managed by the members of the association, proceed to implementation,” Demetriades said while addressing attendees at the association’s general assembly in Nicosia.

The assembly was attended by representatives from both the public and private sectors, including party chiefs and professional association officials, while it was also addressed by President Nicos Anastasiades.

In his address, Demetriades made a number of suggestions and requests on behalf of the association, among them being changes to urban planning regulations, such as the permanence of certain incentives, the increase of the building factor by 20 per cent and the abolition of the minimum useful areas of apartments.

In addition, Demetriades proposed the provision of tax incentives, such as the reduction of VAT and income tax, to further attract foreign companies, the abolition of capital gains, as well as a VAT of 5 per cent on all real estate until the end of December 2022.

“The main goal of the association remains the methodical improvement of social, urban, tourist and economic incentives that enhance the development of the domestic economy and attract significant and long-term investments to the island,” the association said in a statement.

The challenges and prospects of the Cyprus Ports Authority both remain substantial and are being handled by the management and administration, the authority said in a statement accompanying the release of its latest quarterly report.

“Without any restrictions or hesitations the authority is proceeding with the full utilisation of all its resources and the complete assumption of its new, upgraded role, as a supervisory and regulatory authority, but also as an organisation that has significant operational activity,” the CPA said.

The authority also said that the new board of directors of the authority has already proceeded with the implementation of the goals set at its establishment six months ago.

The CPA also touched on the recent filling of the position of general manager, which for a long time remained vacant.

In the near future, the authority will complete its leadership pyramid by appointing a new chief financial officer.

“The hundreds of decisions of the board of directors are fully justified and are the product of long discussions, review of all data available and consultation,” the authority concluded.

The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) ended Wednesday, February 16 with losses.

The main Cyprus Stock Market Index was at 70.56 points at 13:27 during the day, reflecting a drop of 0.63 per cent over the previous day of trading.

The FTSE / CySE 20 Index was at 42.38 points, which represents a decrease of 0.68 per cent.

The total value of transactions came up to €58,119.

In terms of the sub-indexes, the main index (0.83 per cent), alternative index (0.53 per cent), and investment firm index (2.34 per cent) all decreased, while the hotel index remained stable.

The biggest investment interest was attracted by the Bank of Cyprus (no change), Hellenic Bank (-1.23 per cent), Logicom (no change), Pandora (+1.59 per cent) and Salamis Tours (+0.52 per cent).