Evgenios Evgeniou, chairman of the Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency, commonly referred to as Invest Cyprus, on Wednesday said that the country’s efforts to attract foreign companies have helped the economy’s resilience and are contributing toward a more sustainable economic model.
“The Cypriot economy has faced intense challenges as a result of a series of unpredictable external factors, such as the pandemic, the war in Ukraine and the rapid increase in inflation,” Evgeniou said.
“Although these conditions have affected the Cypriot economy, the combination of government policies, the adaptability of the private sector and the attraction of foreign investments initially limited the recession and now moved the focus on achieving sustainable growth,” he added.
Evgeniou noted that the European Commission recently published its forecast on Cyprus, which projects a GDP growth of 3.2 per cent in 2022.
While this figure reflects a downturn when compared to previous estimates, it remains higher than the projected EU average for the current year.
However, as previously mentioned by both Finance Minister Constantinos Petrides and European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde, uncertainty and instability continue to plague the global economy.
“In this unprecedented setting, we should intensify our efforts to attract new businesses and investments to Cyprus, which will create new, highly specialised jobs and added value for our economy,” Evgeniou stated.
“For this effort to succeed, all the stakeholders involved, public and private, must work together,” he added, noting that Invest Cyprus’ business and investment policies are fully aligned with the government’s own strategy.
According to Evgeniou, the agency’s policies have three key objectives. The first involves the attraction of highly specialised international firms, along with their staff, mainly in the field of technology.
The second aim involves the support of foreign investment implementation processes in priority sectors of the economy. These include the green and digital transition.
The final objective involves maintaining Cyprus’ competitiveness as an international financial services hub, particularly in terms of investment funds.
“In recent years, Cyprus has implemented a new strategy to attract foreign companies and talent. Invest Cyprus has adopted this since 2019 and it focuses mainly on high-tech, shipping, pharmaceutical, innovation and research and development companies,” Evgeniou said.
“The effort so far has been successful, since through coordinated actions together with the private sector we have managed as a country to create a new and promising technology sector,” he added.
Moreover, Evgeniou noted that the sector has the potential to grow further in the coming years, so much so that it becomes a self-sustaining ecosystem and helps Cyprus become a destination of choice for international technology firms and startups.
That being said, the Invest Cyprus chairman said that this is far from straightforward considering the competition from other European countries.
“At Invest Cyprus, we are confident that the international entrepreneurship sectors will continue to grow in the coming years, enhancing specialisation, creating new jobs, diversifying the education and labour fields, and boosting investment in new development projects,” Evgeniou said.
“We need to remain focused on our goal, by implementing sound development policies and reforms so as to realise ‘Vision 2035’ for the Cypriot economy and society, which is encapsulated in a simple but extremely meaningful proposition: to make Cyprus the best place to live, work and do business,” he added.
Evgeniou acknowledged that for Cyprus to continue improving its competitiveness and capacity to attract foreign investment hinges on closely following international developments, ongoing reviews and updates to its foreign direct investment framework, as well as targeted incentives.
In addition, it also entails the implementation of a number of necessary reforms which include those agreed upon under the framework of the Cyprus Recovery and Resilience Plan.
“We recognize that there is considerable room for further improvement of our investment proposal,” Evgeniou said.
“However, we are confident that with the support and cooperation of the relevant ministries and working together with the private sector, the collective effort to attract even more businesses and investments to Cyprus will be successful,” he concluded.