In his speech at the 6th Annual General Meeting of the Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency (CIPA) on Monday night, Lakkotrypis said that this year’s registrations of new companies to the Department of Registrar of Companies and Official Receiver, are in higher levels than in the corresponding last year, showing an increase for the eighth consecutive month, around 20% for the period between April and October.
The Minister said that in a difficult period for global and local economy, Cyprus has the potential to cope with the new challenges, but also to enhance its role as a regional and international business centre.
He noted there are investment opportunities to most sectors of the economy, especially in the field of hydrocarbons explorations in Cyprus EEZ. The emerging oil and gas industries, as he pointed out, create excellent prospects for investments, partnerships and cooperation.
He added this is also true for the sector of tourism, where the priority is the enrichment and enhancement of the tourist product with major infrastructure projects such as marinas, golf courses and a casino resort, so that Cyprus will become a tourist destination throughout the year.
"Cyprus strategic geographic location, the country’s EU and eurozone membership, favourable tax regime, the high level of business services and the highly skilled workforce, make Cyprus an attractive investment destination”, said the Minister of Energy, adding that these features also make Cyprus a stable and reliable bridge of cooperation between the countries of the Eastern Mediterranean to Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
Referring to government efforts for economic recovery he said that confidence restoration is the main condition for a successful outcome that will allow the country to attract foreign investment. He added that the positive reviews of Cyprus international lenders, but also the upgrades of the economy by international rating agencies, show that Cyprus is steadily coping with difficulties caused by the decisions of the Eurogroup in March 2013.
"The Cypriot economy is recovering slowly but steadily, confidence returns and the supervision and control of the financial sector have improved significantly," he said.
In a bid to avert a financial meltdown, Cyprus on March 2013 signed a €10 billion financial assistance package with the EU and the IMF. Apart from austerity measures and reforms, the bailout featured a controversial conversion of deposits over €100,000 to capital to save the island’s largest bank, while Cyprus second largest lender went in to liquidation wiping out approximately €8 billion deposits.
The haircut was accompanied with strict capital controls, which hampered economic activity. Despite gloomy projections by its international lenders (EC, ECB and IMF), Cyprus has over-performed its fiscal targets.