President of the Republic Nikos Christodoulides has said that the Cypriot authorities have received the first package of information from the US regarding natural and legal persons included in the US sanctions list, while two more packages are expected soon.

He was confirming a story published on Tuesday by the financial news website “Stockwatch”.

Speaking at the 13th Nicosia Economic Congress, President Christodoulides said that this morning he spoke with the Attorney General about the matter adding that he will receive all information needed so that the competent authorities begin examining them before receiving the other two information packages from the US.

He stressed that it is of high importance to safeguard and protect the name and credibility of Cyprus as a business and financial centre, especially following the recent sanctions imposed by the US and the UK on Cypriot service providers.

President Christodoulides underlined the importance of the issue, telling delegates that it is imperative that we approach the matter with seriousness and do everything possible so that no one tarnishes the name of Cyprus.

“I am certain that you, who represent the economy of our country, understand and share the need to conclude the matter and move on to a new era,” he told participants at the conference.

Referring to the economy, he said that the Cyprus economy showed resilience and saw a strong recovery in 2021 after the coronavirus crisis. This positive trend, he added, continued throughout 2022, despite the difficult political climate caused by the illegal Russian invasion of Ukraine. He noted that GDP showed an increase of 5.6% in 2022 in real terms, after a significant expansion of 6.6% in 2021.

“Sectors such as tourism, trade, accommodation and food services have shown remarkable growth, along with the information and communication technology sector, while labor market has shown improvement, with the unemployment rate falling to 6.8% in 2022, compared to 7.5% in 2021” he said, noting that this was the result of the significant increase in economic activity in Cyprus, which is proof of the resilience of the Cypriot economy.

Furthermore, he noted that based on the government’s macroeconomic projections, growth in 2023 is expected to continue on a positive trend, but at a slower rate of around 2.8%. Moreover, despite risks related to the international economic environment, inflation is expected to slow to around 3.2% in 2023, compared to 8.1% in 2022.

He expressed conviction that through the adoption of a comprehensive approach, we will encourage the attraction of quality investments, the development of the entrepreneurial spirit and the creation of a supporting infrastructure that will strengthen the transition to a new development model.

The President announced that the government is in advanced consultations with some countries adding ‘we expect to see some significant investments in our country within 2023’.

“With our political relations with the countries of the wider Middle East, the Eastern Mediterranean and the Gulf, as well as India and Japan, but also within the framework of our now strategic relationship with the USA, and using these excellent political relations, we will also have some important investments to announce in the next period,” he stressed.

He spoke about the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, noting that it can lead to economic growth, namely, a cumulative increase in the GDP by about 3% in the short term and about 7% in the medium term until 2026, compared to the base growth scenario without its implementation.

Moreover, the President said that the Plan is expected to significantly increase employment, more than 2.5%, (about 11,000 new quality jobs) for the period 2021-2026 and about 6% in the long term.

Concluding he said he is looking forward to working with all stakeholders, the private sector, as well as parliamentary parties to prevent any loss of valuable European resources.

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