What key areas of opportunity or growth do you see in the country and what are your expectations for Cyprus in 2020?
The Cyprus economy continues to exhibit positive growth rates and this creates opportunities and prospects for the new year as well.
In addition to traditional developmental sectors, such as tourism and real estate, there are new sectors with potential for significant growth. These sectors include energy, private education and private health care, research and innovation and others.
In this context, the Cyprus Chamber Commerce and Industry (CCCI) will continue its efforts to promote Cyprus and its business sector, both in the local market and abroad. Already, for 2020, we have developed an ambitious business plan that includes trade missions abroad, where we will present the advantages of Cyprus as a business and services centre in the Eastern Mediterranean, at the crossroads of three continents.
On a domestic level we will continue to exercise pressure for the acceleration of the program of reforms and institutional change, so that our economy becomes more competitive and gains new momentum. In particular, the public service, local government and the judicial system should be modernised in order to become more flexible, productive and efficient. Other challenges that we need to deal with effectively in 2020 are the high level (even though on a downward trend) of the non-performing loans, the public debt and the further consolidation of the banking system so that it can serve better the needs of the SMEs which constitute the vast majority of Cypriot enterprises.
Needless to say, we must at the same time keep focusing our efforts on attracting foreign investments and on preserving and even upgrading the image of Cyprus as an attractive investment destination.
The Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry believes that with proper planning and determination the challenges can be successfully faced and Cyprus will be able to continue its developmental path.
Both the government and EU forecasts show an encouraging picture for 2020. Growth is expected to continue at the rate of 2.6%, unemployment will be further reduced to 6.3%, inflation will remain at the low level of 0.7%, the fiscal situation will remain in surplus (2.6%) and the public debt will continue its downward trend to reach 87.1% of GDP.
With all the above in mind, the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry expects that overall, 2020 will be another good year for Cyprus.