A total of €245 million has been secured by the Ministry of Energy, Commerce and Industry for the new programming period up to 2027, which will be made available to businesses through targeted grant plans with an emphasis on absorbing and utilising as many resources as possible from European Funds, including the Recovery and Resilience Fund, Energy Minister George Papanastasiou said on Friday, speaking at the General Electoral Assembly of the Paphos Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Papanastasiou said that these projects concern young entrepreneurship, enhancing competitiveness and energy saving in small and medium-sized enterprises, the digital upgrading of businesses, the promotion of the circular economy, the strengthening of large enterprises and the modernization or construction of units involved in agricultural products processing and marketing.
He also announced that an additional €120 million will be granted through the “Save and Upgrade” plan for housing, again indirectly helping to boost entrepreneurship. At the same time, he continued, contributing to the effort to reduce consumer spending for energy purposes, the Ministry has announced grant plans through the Renewable Energy Sources and Energy Conservation Fund, with a total budget of over €80 million for the years 2022- 2023.
He added that the Fund now receives and processes over 2,000 applications per month, while in Paphos district, more than 1,000 homes participated in the Fund’s plans in 2022, a number that he said is expected to double this year due to the further strengthening of the incentives offered.
Regarding the Industrial Areas and Zones in Paphos district, Papanastasiou said the Ministry is working to solve chronic problems, among others by promoting infrastructure modernisation and the upgrading of projects, as well as cleanliness projects in cooperation with local authorities.
He particularly noted the construction of the bridge connecting the Mesogi Industrial Area with the Tremithousa Industrial Zone, which the Ministry is promoting in cooperation with the Department of Public Works. The project, he announced, is expected to start within 2024 and be completed in 2025 at a total cost of €2 million.
Moreover, in his address, the re-elected president of the Paphos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, George Mais, said that in the face of a troublesome international political and economic context, the Chamber believes that only with the close and constructive cooperation of all parties, the government, the parliament, the productive classes and the trade union movement, we can respond to problems and difficulties.
He noted, among other things, that the city and the district of Paphos recorded considerable growth in 2022 and 2023, especially the tourism sector, while investments, mainly in real estate, were, as he said, at very satisfactory levels.
He added that Paphos attracts every year about 39% of total tourist arrivals, with the main destinations being the UK, εentral European countries, Greece and Israel, with a very good outlook in terms of Scandinavian countries and emerging markets such as Poland, Austria, the Baltic countries as well as the Middle East countries.