The government is wholly devoted to restructuring and revitalizing the economy and its banking system, President Nicos Anastasiades has said, ensuring that Cyprus will remain a reliable partner to all those entrepreneurs and investors interested in international expansion.

Speaking at the 2nd Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency (CIPA) International Investment Awards event, President Anastasiades said he was pleased to note that “our progress was recently positively recognized by Troika (ECB, EU and IMF), which assessed that the legislative programme to meet the terms for providing financial assistance package is on track.”

Further, he added, “the banking sector, through its restructuring and the implementation of a comprehensive action plan, is emerging stronger, well capitalized and viable, restoring depositor confidence and enhancing its ability to continue contributing to economic growth.”

In parallel, Anastasiades noted, the government “is wholly concentrated on promoting growth, offering favourable tax incentives for existing or new companies doing business in Cyprus, encouraging foreign investments, increasing Cyprus’ competitiveness and creating a more effective and business-friendly environment.” He recalled that to this end, a series of important relevant measures have already been announced and are being implemented.

Anastasiades praised the efforts and expressed the government’s sincere appreciation “to the tireless efforts and hard work of CIPA in contributing to Cyprus’ recovery, restoring confidence to the economy and promoting Cyprus as an extremely attractive destination for foreign investors.”

“It is for exactly these reasons, and with a view of improving the already close and mutually beneficial relationship being developed between the Government and CIPA, that it has been decided that a further one and a half million euros will be allocated to CIPA,” the President said.

He also noted that “it has been decided that the co-operation and collaboration between CIPA and Cyprus¢ diplomatic missions will be further enhanced, in order to strengthen and intensify our economic diplomacy efforts in attracting new foreign investments.”

“Your contribution, just as in the past and in even worse economic conditions, is once more vital in assisting the efforts of the government to demonstrate that we are well-equipped, determined and able to overcome the challenges which lie ahead,” he said.

In this respect, he added, “your collaboration with international clients and businesses is highly significant in conveying all the measures and decisions adopted by the government towards the aim of encouraging foreign investments and promoting growth.”

He stressed that it is of paramount significance to demonstrate the overall advantages that Cyprus offers for international businesses and especially that these have not been undermined by the financial crisis, by conveying that Cyprus with  almost 50 double tax treaties in force, a highly qualified and professional workforce,  a fully EU harmonized tax and legal system and  with one of the lowest and most competitive corporate tax rates in Europe at 12.5%  still  remains an attractive investment destination and a highly – competitive center for International Businesses, “offering them a platform for their operations and a preferential access to markets like Europe, Russia, China and India and Asia in general.”

Anastasiades noted that “opportunities for growth also exist across many other sectors, such as: Shipping, tourism, large-scale development projects, the audio-visual industry, education, health, research and of course renewable energy”

He said that furthermore the discovery of natural gas reserves in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone creates immense prospects for investment and cooperation in the energy field, having already created a new impetus to encourage opportunities for cooperation between Cypriot and foreign enterprises.

Exploratory drilling carried by Huston-based  Noble Energy in Cyprus’ EOZ in 2011 revealed a gross natural mean raging from 5 to 7 trillion cubic feet (tcf).

“The task of returning to growth is not an easy one, but we are convinced that with the right measures and the cooperation of a more business-friendly state we will succeed and we will pave the way for greater growth, both for you and for our country and its people,” Anastasiadies stressed.

He assured that the government will offer CIPA “all assistance deemed necessary towards this shared goal and will facilitate and accommodate any feasible business and investment ideas put forward by you all.”

Cyprus agreed earlier this year with its international lenders on a 10 billon euro aid package under which it closed one bank, the Popular, whereas deposits with more than 100,000 euros held at the euro zone state`s biggest lender, Bank of Cyprus, lost 47.5% of their value, after being converted into bank shares.

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