Here are the top business stories in Cyprus from the week starting May 20:

Chief Scientist Demetris Skourides was a prominent participant in the First International Symposium: Digital Twins 4 Healthcare, according to an official statement by the foundation. Held on May 16 and 17, this cutting-edge event was organised by the University of Cyprus alongside CYENS, KOIOS, and EPOS-IASIS, drawing an impressive cadre of over 45 international researchers. This conference included notable contributions from Cypriot academics such as Constantinos Dovrolis, Costas Pitris, and Antonis Kakas, who engaged in spirited discussions on how pioneering research, science, and technology are driving revolutions in personalised and precision healthcare.

Simultaneously, the inaugural Green Agenda Cyprus Summit took place on Monday in Nicosia, highlighting the vision and actions necessary for the green transition of the Cypriot economy. Supported by Hellenic Bank, the event focused on the risks posed by climate change and their impact on human life, the banking system, industry, real estate, and the insurance sector. The aim was to support Cyprus’ efforts in becoming a model of ecological living and sustainable development. In his speech, acting CEO of Hellenic Bank Antonis Rouvas stressed that the bank has set clear goals and indicators to reduce its environmental footprint, proclaiming a commitment to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 through operations, financing, and investments.

Additionally, private wealth manager Christopher Zachariou recently spoke to the Cyprus Mail about the necessity of making informed financial decisions, emphasising the importance of long-term thinking and the value of professional advice, especially for young people learning from previous generations.

In a related celebration of achievement, Despina Panayiotou Theodosiou was awarded the first Gender Equality Award in Cyprus Shipping during a celebratory event on Monday evening in Limassol. Organised by the Deputy Ministry of Shipping to mark the International Day for Women in Shipping, the ceremony recognised Theodosiou’s leadership as CEO of Tototheo Maritime Group and her former role as president of the Women’s International Shipping and Trade Association (WISTA International). Notable attendees included Josie Christodoulou, the Commissioner for Gender Equality, and Julie Fisher, the US ambassador to Cyprus, further underscoring the significance of this recognition.

Furthermore, the findings from this year’s Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) survey were presented last week during an event at the University of Cyprus. Reflecting a strong entrepreneurial spirit, one in two Cypriots feel confident about starting a business, with more than half believing they possess the necessary skills to be successful. This survey, now in its 24th year, annually tracks entrepreneurial trends across more than 70 economies, engaging over 200,000 participants.

Moreover, Deputy Minister of Shipping Marina Hadjimanolis met with Greece’s Minister of Shipping and Island Policy Christos Stylianides this week in Limassol. Their discussion focused on the competitiveness of European shipping, the shortage of seafarers, the digitalisation of services, and the maritime passenger connection between Cyprus and Greece. Moreover, the two sides agreed on practical cooperation to address the challenges facing the shipping industry.

In the financial sector, the Bank of Cyprus announced the introduction of electronic dividend payments this Thursday, following the European Central Bank’s approval for a cash dividend payout. Shareholders now have several options to receive their dividends electronically, ensuring a more convenient and efficient process.

Parallel to these financial advancements, the construction of Limassol’s impressive new business hub, Neocleous Tower, continues to hit major milestones. This modern, sustainable office building in central Limassol is redefining the standard for environment-focused commercial real estate in Cyprus, welcoming corporations to experience the future of upscale workplace excellence.

In a different sector, Deputy Minister of Research Nicodemos Damianou emphasised the crucial importance of space technology for securing Europe’s economic future, its strategic independence, and its role on the global stage. Speaking at a gathering of the Space Council in Brussels, he highlighted the necessity for upcoming European Space Law to provide stability for business ventures by ensuring legal certainty and predictability.

Concurrently, Eurobank Cyprus clinched the Digital Transformation Award at the Temenos Community Forum conference in Dublin, which took place from May 14-16. This accolade celebrates the bank’s successful execution of a three-year digital overhaul, where 85 per cent of its core banking, digital channels, data warehouse, and wealth management systems and infrastructures were modernised.

Lastly, the European Commission this week issued reasoned opinions, the final step before referring cases to the European Court of Justice (ECJ), to Cyprus and other member states for failing to implement the agreement on a minimum 15 per cent tax rate on large multinational corporations. This action is part of the commission’s May infringement package, which also includes initiatives against Cyprus for not enacting legislation on corporate transparency and enhancing public oversight of multinational enterprises.