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Cyprus tech sector wants to attract global giants — Ireland seen as blueprint


TechIsland, Cyprus’s leading tech business association, celebrated a significant milestone as it concluded the “Building Tech Islands: A Workshop on Attracting Foreign Tech Companies”.

Held as a side event during the TechIsland Summit 2023, the workshop brought together government officials and C-level executives from various companies on the island.

In the context of Cyprus’ ongoing efforts to establish itself as a tech hub, the workshop focused on Ireland’s successful model in attracting global tech giants like Google and Meta, as well as top-tier global talent.

Clive Ryan, former Regional Director for EMEA at Meta

Notably, Ireland has managed to transform itself into a world-class destination for investors, talent, and entrepreneurs.

The event featured two distinguished speakers from Ireland. Mary Harney, who has held multiple government roles in Ireland, including Deputy Prime Minister (Tánaiste), shared insights from the public sector. In addition, Clive Ryan, former Regional Director for EMEA at Meta, offered a private sector perspective.

“We’ve managed to attract global tech companies and international talent, resulting in economic growth and high-quality job opportunities,” Valentinos Polykarpou, Chairman of TechIsland, stated in his opening remarks.

“However, our journey is far from over. Today, we are here to learn from Ireland’s success story and discuss how we can attract more tech companies and professionals, as well as retain those already here,” he added.

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Valentinos Polykarpou, Chairman of TechIsland

Polykarpou also emphasised the need for collaboration to ensure the development of the necessary infrastructure to meet the growing demands of the tech sector.

“Today, we’re here to find solutions to critical challenges,” he stated.

“We’re not just discussing what makes a tech hub successful; we’re laying the foundation for Cyprus to be among the world’s best,” Polykarpou added.

During her presentation, Mary Harney highlighted key factors that made Ireland attractive to international investors, including a commitment to continuous policy transformation, a strategic focus on education and industry, significant investments in Research and Development (R&D), and a consistent industrial policy.

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Mary Harney

She also noted the contribution of a skilled workforce, nurtured by progressive immigration, targeted education policies, and favourable tax incentives.

These strategies, she explained, have established Ireland as a global business hub, especially in the tech sector.

In his presentation, Clive showcased several critical issues shaping Ireland’s tech ecosystem. He also addressed the challenge of over-reliance on corporate tax revenue, calling for diversification and investment in local talent and startups.

The event exemplifies TechIsland’s dedication to transforming Cyprus into a leading tech hub. Founded in 2021 as a non-profit organisation, TechIsland has played a pivotal role in the exponential growth of the tech industry in Cyprus, working to create favourable conditions for the sector’s competitiveness and growth.

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