President Nikos Christodoulides told a prestigious conference in London on Friday that his vision for Cyprus was for the island to be an attractive destination for foreign investors.

He also addressed the issue of Cypriot entities recently censured for violating US and UK sanctions on Russia.

The message was transmitted via video to the Economist’s ‘Cyprus Investment Summit’ at the London Stock Exchange, which was also being addressed in person by the island’s energy minister George Papanastasiou.

In his message, Christodoulides told delegates: “My vision for Cyprus is to become a modern state for attracting investment and cultivating entrepreneurship, a country that implements bold reforms and becomes more competitive, fully exploiting the benefits of technology and innovation.”

He added that he wanted Cyprus to be able to respond quickly and effectively to future challenges and stressed that the Cypriot economy had proven its resilience during the pandemic.

An ambitious government programme also ensures that Cyprus will be well equipped to face the challenges, he added.

“Our goal is to strengthen the competitiveness of the Cypriot economy on the basis of a new modern development model, remaining committed to fiscal discipline within the framework of our European obligations,” he said.

Referring to recent UK and US sanctions on Cypriot entities and individuals for violating sanctions on Russia, Christodoulides said the government was determined to fully investigate these cases and take all necessary action.

“In this context we have fully cooperated with the relevant US and UK authorities and at the same time our government is proceeding with the establishment of a fully developed sanctions enforcement unit with technical support from the UK government with a dual purpose: on the one hand to act proactively when relevant information is provided by competent foreign authorities and on the other hand to ensure that the imposed sanctions are properly implemented,” he said.

He added that in recent years, Cyprus has taken important steps to strengthen the rules for dealing with money laundering and terrorist financing.

On structural reforms, the president referred to the government’s agenda which forms the backbone of its policy, including comprehensive tax reform, as well public administration, justice, and local government, and taking advantage of European funding opportunities for green investments.

In addition, the island’s multifaceted foreign policy, which focuses on strengthening international partnerships and highlighting Cyprus’ strategic position, could contribute to the reunification of Cyprus with a comprehensive solution, he added.