[INSIGHT] CyprusProfile.com asked Central Bank of Cyprus Governor Chrystalla Georghadji which key areas of opportunity or growth she sees in the banking sector, and what her expectations are for Cyprus in 2017.
"Following Cyprus’ smooth exit from the financial adjustment programme in March 2016 and the higher than expected growth in GDP, the economic recovery in Cyprus continues. The improved market confidence, the gradual recovery of the real estate market, the growing services sector, particularly, tourism and professional services, are expected to be the main drivers for growth during 2017. Following the deleveraging process already underway, the banking sector is also expected to contribute positively to growth. GDP is expected to increase by around 2.8% in 2017. The health of the banking sector continues to improve as evidenced by the return to modest profitability, growth in deposits, a gradual decrease in the level of non-performing loans and the upward trend in new lending. Many challenges remain, however, and the Central Bank of Cyprus will continue, with its efforts to fully strengthen the banking sector and the economy as a whole".