CyprusProfile talks to Nicos Papaefstathiou, CEO and Managing Partner of Tassos Papadopoulos & Associates LLC, on key areas of opportunity or growth, and expectations for Cyprus in 2018
In recent years Cyprus has seen a great influx of foreign business, serving both as a business hub but also as a target for investors, its strategic location, business culture, tax regime, legal certainty and EU membership being among the decisive factors. Given the business activity we have witnessed in 2017 we expect that, among others, the following 3 areas covered will surely be proven to be the greatest of opportunities within our sector in 2018.
Alternative Investment Fund Managers (“AIFMs”) and Alternative Investment Funds (“AIFs”) are licenced and supervised by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission. AIFs and AIFMs are governed through the Alternative Investment Funds Law of 2014 and the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Law of 2013 respectively.
The benefits of establishing AIFs and AIFMs in Cyprus make it an investment structure difficult to ignore. Besides Cyprus being an EU jurisdiction, and as such, an AIF registered in Cyprus is licenced and supervised by an EU securities and exchange commission, the same applying to an AIFM which can, moreover, be passported across the EU, the applicable tax exemptions within AIF and AIM structures as well as the tax benefits from the wide network of double tax treaties which Cyprus has in place, are factors that are gradually putting Cyprus on the map as a fund jurisdiction.
This past year there has been a vast increase in demand for the registration of AIFs and AIFMs in Cyprus, especially by foreign investors. In 2018, with the upcoming reforms in the AIF legislation, the shift to fund structures is expected to be even bigger. Advocates in the field will be required since their services and expertise are vital in the preparation and processing of AIFs and AIFM license applications, the offer of continuing legal support and compliance services.
Personal data protection has over the years become a universal challenge. In April of 2016, a new EU data protection framework was adopted in the form of a Regulation – the GDPR, repealing Directive 95/46/EC, which is currently in force.
The scope and effects of the GDPR are colossal since it affects all businesses, large and small, which interact with and process data of people in the EU. It introduces fundamental changes to the data protection regulatory framework by reinforcing existing rights and creating new ones. Law firms with multiple years of experience and expertise in dealing with data protection matters may assist organisations and individuals, by providing legal evaluations of the level of the clients’ compliance with the provisions of the GDPR, legal advice and assistance in providing solutions to clients, assistance in designing clear policies and well-practised procedures as well as ongoing legal advice and support in understanding and properly implementing the requirements of the GDPR.
The GDPR will take effect throughout the EU on 25 May 2018, rendering 2018 the peak period regarding GDPR implementation by businesses which will, consequently, require legal services of expert advocates for proper compliance with the provisions of GDPR.
Incoming investments into Cyprus have in the past few years been mostly focused on land developments but there seems to be a shift, with investors seeking out infrastructure projects ranging from residential to large commercial projects. The aforementioned and the magnitude thereof cannot however come into fruition without legal support and services from experienced advocates. Corporate structuring, tender processes, contracts, joint venture formations, construction agreements, and continuing legal advice cannot be achieved without the assistance of specialised and experienced advocates.
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