Limassol Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Evel) president Andreas Tsouloftas on Thursday expressed optimism about Limassol’s prospects, despite the challenges posed by high inflation and the war in Ukraine.

Speaking during a press conference, held to commemorate the chamber’s sixty-year anniversary, the Evel president explained that the war in Ukraine, as well as the resulting sanctions, has not been as damaging to businesses as soaring prices and costs.

Tsouloftas conceded that a number of Russian-owned companies have been affected by sanctions, with large auditing, law and other professional business firms being particularly affected.

However, the arrival of Ukrainian business people has offset the negative effects, to the point that Limassol has been unable to fully satisfy the demand for office space from recently relocated businesses.

“Offices are no longer available for rent,” Tsouloftas said, noting that “some companies that wanted to stay in Limassol were forced to go to Paphos or Famagusta, while some have even resorted to renting hotel rooms to house their offices.”

However, he explained that rising prices have hit businesses hard, with most of the negative effects being felt in the construction sector.

“We have made several suggestions to help our businesses and we hope that through a tidy government policy and support from structural funds our economy will be able to meet the challenges,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Evel president said that early signs for Cyprus’ tourism sector are positive.

He explained that Cypriot tourism is expected to recover after two tough years blighted by the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting restrictions and health measures.

This echoes the comments made by Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos and Deputy Minister of Tourism Savvas Perdios who said that arrivals are approaching pre-pandemic levels.

In relation to the major developments that Evel is anticipating to be earmarked for Limassol, Tsouloftas referred to the projects expected to be completed in the area west of the marina, with the creation of Irini square and Aktaia street.

In addition, he also spoke about private investments, estimated to be in the millions, which are currently pending and will go ahead after a change in urban zoning.
“We expect a major upgrade in this area that will radically change western Limassol within the next ten years,” Tsouloftas said.

The Evel president also noted the need to promote the city’s demand for a new museum.

Among other things, he also spoke on the need to accelerate the development of the Cyprus University of Technology’s (Tepak) second cluster of facilities.

“This delay prevents a large number of students from joining the university, which has now been forced to expand to other cities in Cyprus,” Tsouloftas concluded.