President Anastasiades emphasized the government’s determination to keep Cyprus on a path of sustainable growth and to facilitate investment and economic opportunities. He also welcomed the American energy giants, Noble and Exxon-Mobil, in the island’s Exclusive Economic Zone, both of which are currently working with the Cyprus government for the exploitation of hydrocarbon reserves, and said that “this not only marks a new era for our bilateral relations, but it is also a tangible sign of confidence in the role of Cyprus as a reliable regional actor, who has adopted a stabilizing role in an otherwise volatile region.”
Furthermore, he noted that “at a regional level, we have been pioneers in establishing trilateral regional cooperation mechanisms between Cyprus – Egypt – Greece and between Cyprus – Greece – Israel, aiming to further develop both our countries’ economic, energy, maritime, tourism ties and our overall diplomatic coordination on common challenges.”
“Our vision is to transform the Eastern Mediterranean into an energy hub that would contribute towards the region’s stability, through, among others, the diversification of energy sources and routes” Mr. Anastasiades said. He further assured the U.S. business community that Cyprus will remain a dependable partner, maintaining its position as an important international business hub and investment destination.
Anastasiades also stressed that the government is actively working on building more tangible economic and investment relations between Cyprus and the U.S., adding that “a bilateral US-Cyprus dialogue is in progress, to address a range of issues of economic cooperation, particularly US investments in Cyprus. During the last few years, we have seen significant US investments in Cyprus and our aim is to facilitate even more of them.”
Speaking about the Cyprus economy, he optimistically stated that the deep recession and the severe financial crisis are “behind us”, noting that Cyprus is one of the fastest growing economies of the European Union, and only short of 3% of the GDP. He further stressed how significant the presence of foreign investors is in our banking sector, including investors from the U.S.
Several consecutive upgrades by international agencies were the result of the island’s positive economic developments with Cyprus currently rated one notch below investment grade, Anastasiades said. He also stated that “taking into account that even before I assumed office our economy was 12 notches below investment grade and at a junk rating, I can proudly declare, without, of course, neglecting the need to stay clear on our path, that we are on our way towards the full re-establishment of confidence towards Cyprus by the international investor community.”
“We recognise the importance of maintaining sound public finances. We are committed to maintaining a stable and competitive tax regime. We shall continue to invest in human capital, supporting higher education and research. And we shall continue to stand by the local and foreign business community,” Anastasiades said. He further added, “we are in the final stages of strengthening the legal framework for the investment funds sector, which is expected to enrich the financial services industry in Cyprus and the growth of the economy.”
In full awareness of the strict regulatory framework of the United States and the need for transparency and accountability in all investment and business transactions, President Anastasiades said that he is pleased to announce that the two countries have signed the intergovernmental Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FACTA).