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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 8:

 Minister of Agriculture, Maria Panayiotou, recently lauded the economic significance of the wine industry and unveiled plans for its global promotion through international events and financial support. In her remarks, she emphasised that “the determination of the government to support the wine sector and effort to promote the wines of Cyprus is essential,” highlighting the aim for the primary sector to drive the country’s economic development. During her greeting at the 11th Cypriot Wine Exhibition, organised by the Famagusta Wine Club in Ayia Napa, Panayiotou noted that “the Club has established itself, its activities have gained prestige, and it now plays a pivotal role in the wine events of a very vital region of Cyprus, especially in terms of foreign and domestic tourism and consumption of wine products.”

Simultaneously, the Deputy Ministry of Shipping announced its participation in the ‘Sea Japan’ international shipping exhibition in Tokyo, from April 10 to 12. This biennial maritime exhibition, first held in 1994, is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year and is expected to be the largest ever, with about 600 exhibitors from 30 countries and visitors expected to exceed 20,000.

Further emphasising economic diversification, Finance Minister Makis Keravnos, at the 14th Nicosia Economic Conference, stressed that “the enrichment of Cyprus’ economic model is of vital importance” and that maintaining investment levels was a critical objective of the government’s economic policy. Keravnos advocated for a sustainable development model over an opportunistic approach.

In a related development, Deputy Minister of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy, Nikodemos Damianou, spoke at the 14th Nicosia Economic Congress about Cyprus’ potential as a regional centre for technology and innovation. He said that “today, with the actions we have taken, we are in a better position than ever to be able to speak in a meaningful way about this issue,” citing European Union strategies that view Cyprus as central to becoming a leading connectivity and data hub.

On another front, Deputy Minister of Tourism, Kostas Koumis, addressed the widespread challenges facing the tourism sector at the 70th Session of the Europe Commission of the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) in Tirana. He emphasised the importance of international collaboration to ensure the sector’s recovery and growth, highlighting common issues like the energy crisis, inflation, and labour shortages.

Meanwhile, the Famagusta Tourism Board (Etap) and hoteliers of the district noted increased interest in organized trips from Poland to the Famagusta district during a roadshow in Poland. This initiative, which visited Warsaw, Krakow, and Katowice, aimed to “further strengthen the trend recorded in recent years, for an increased flow of tourists from various Polish cities,” according to an Etap statement.

To bolster international business ties, Commerce Minister Giorgos Papanastasiou and the Republic’s Chief Scientist for Research, Innovation, and Technology, Demetris Skourides, were in Japan to promote Cyprus as a base for international business and an emerging tech centre. This was part of a broader governmental drive to attract Japanese investors and business leaders, highlighting Cyprus’ competitive advantages as an international business location at a business forum organised by the commerce ministry and other associated bodies.

In the realm of sustainable tourism, the I-STARS project, which aims to promote sustainable tourism in Europe, has completed the selection process for 125 tourism businesses across Cyprus, Greece, Ireland, Italy, and Spain, each receiving grants of up to €5,600. This initiative reflects a growing commitment within the industry to sustainability as a core principle.

Amid these developments, the tourism industry faces additional challenges due to climate change, as noted by Christos Angelides, president of the Pancyprian Association of Hotel Managers (Pasydixe). Speaking at the association’s AGM in Larnaca, Angelides highlighted the multifaceted impacts of geopolitical and environmental changes on strategic planning in the tourism sector.

Celebrating a significant milestone, the Bank of Cyprus marked its 125-year history at an event attended by President Nikos Christodoulides and other dignitaries. Christodoulides praised the bank as a growth lever and a pillar of economic stability, acknowledging its role as a strong ambassador abroad and a steadfast part of the Cypriot community.

In the real estate sector, the focus on two-bedroom apartments intensified in Q4 of 2023, as reported by Ask Wire. Their findings, from continuous monitoring of 421 high-end projects across Cyprus, indicated that 240 sales were completed during the last quarter, totalling €154 million in value.

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