The broader services sector in Cyprus recorded an increase of 6.6 per cent year-on-year in 2022, with accommodation and food services (44.4 per cent), information and communication (15 per cent) and transport and storage (10.8 per cent) recording the most significant increase, OEV said on Sunday.

In an announcement ahead of its AGM on April 25, the employers and industrialists federation said the tourist industry also improved in 2022 when compared to 2021 and 2020, but compared to the pre pandemic high of 2019 there is still some way to go.

Regarding Cyprus shipping, OEV said in 2022 it was confirmed, once again, that Cyprus is considered a force to be reckoned with in the field of global shipping.

The Cyprus shipping industry accounts for seven per cent of GDP, OEV said, adding that despite the difficulties caused by Covid and the war in Ukraine, Cyprus shipping remained one of the most important “lifelines” of the Cyprus economy, while it is the 11th largest merchant fleet worldwide and the 3rd largest in the EU.

Recognising the importance of the services sector, last year OEV held a series of actions including the conference on The Future of the Pension System and Provident Funds in Cyprus as well as the first Cyprus Pension Exhibition, supported the participation of Cypriot companies in the services sector in trade fairs in Cyprus and abroad with the aim of promoting the export of services and organised a presentation on international sanctions against Russia and their impact on Cypriot businesses.

OEV said it also acted to limit the impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the lack of staff in the tourism sector, submitted suggestions for enhancing Cyprus’ air connectivity to attract tourists from important markets, and organised presentations of sponsorship schemes in cooperation with the competent ministries.

The course of the services sector will be discussed at the AGM.