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Cyprus Business Now: weekly wrap-up

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Here are the top business stories in Cyprus from the week starting April 1:

In a notable development in Cyprus, two brothers, George Geratziotis and Dr. Alexandros Geratziotis, have spearheaded an innovative initiative. Getting on a mission fuelled by both academic endeavour and personal dedication, they have created Connect Deaf, an app that serves as an encouragement of innovation and inclusion for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community. This groundbreaking project exemplifies their commitment to enhancing communication accessibility.

Simultaneously, the energy sector in Cyprus is undergoing a significant transformation, with a shift towards sustainable sources. Andreas Poullikkas, Chairman of the Cyprus Energy Regulatory Authority (CERA), underscores the pivotal role of critical minerals, including rare earths, in this transition. According to Poullikkas, these minerals are indispensable for the successful shift from traditional fossil fuels to renewable and clean energy sources, thereby marking a milestone in the energy landscape.

Furthermore, the realm of real estate in Cyprus is facing challenges due to rent control regulations. As articulated by the Cyprus Real Estate Agents Registration Council, the Rent Control Law of 1983 has emerged as a considerable impediment, stifling both development and investment. Initially designed to protect tenants post the Turkish invasion, this law now seemingly hampers the growth and dynamism of the property market.

In a related stride towards societal betterment, the Cyprus Association of Nursing Homeowners has recently become a member of the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Keve). This strategic alliance aims to uplift the standards of elderly care, ensuring a dignified living environment for those grappling with health issues, disabilities, or daily life challenges. Keve envisions this collaboration as a catalyst for societal and economic enhancement, promoting a supportive business ecosystem.

In the tourism sector, Deputy Minister of Tourism Kostas Koumis has announced a significant initiative with a €4 million grant scheme, dedicated to revitalising rural, mountainous, and remote areas. Funded entirely by the European Union’s Recovery and Resilience Facility, this initiative aspires to rejuvenate these regions by enhancing public and private spaces, thereby fostering specialised tourism and community upliftment.

Moreover, the cabinet’s approval of a circular economy scheme for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) marks a progressive step in Cyprus’ economic development. Proposed by Minister of Energy, Commerce and Industry George Papanastasiou, this scheme is part of the Cyprus Recovery and Resilience Plan, funded by the EU’s Recovery and Resilience Facility. With a budget of €14.4 million, it is set to bolster SMEs, aligning with sustainable growth principles.

On the financial front, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has lauded Cyprus’s robust economic performance. Alex Pienkowski, head of the IMF mission for Cyprus, emphasised the necessity for structural reforms to further unleash the nation’s growth potential, particularly in justice, education, and green transition sectors.

Additionally, the Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC) has recently identified five banks as Other Systemically Important Institutions (O-SII) for 2024, following a comprehensive reassessment. This identification reflects the strategic importance of these banks in Cyprus’ financial stability and economic ecosystem.

Finally, in the philanthropic arena, Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou’s engagement with The Hellenic Initiative (THI) is a commendable highlight. As a new board member, he is set to contribute significantly to Greece’s economic recovery, leveraging his extensive entrepreneurial and philanthropic experience to foster job creation and empower entrepreneurship, thus benefiting the wider Hellenic region.

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