President Nicos Anastasiades: Government Promotes New Investment Law

President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades has said that the government is promoting a new investment law to boost investments in the country.  

Addressing the Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency (CIPA) and the Cyprus Investment Funds Agency (CIFA) 2016 Annual General Meeting that took place on Wednesday 6 December in Nicosia,  he said that the government inter alia is promoting the new investment law featuring a real one-stop shop to serve businesses, a commercial court, as well the possibility to register a company in just 24 hours.

Anastasiades also pointed out that “the vision to render Cyprus an attractive investment destination directly affects the possibility to achieve the conditions of sustainable and healthy growth transcends the coming February and affects the lives of all, our children and the future generations.”

The Cypriot President emphasized CIPA’s and CIFA’s decisive role in promoting the government’s structural reform programme, adding that with the contribution of CIPA and CIFA we were able to extradite and to materialise the growth prospects. “Our wish is for CIPA to go to the next level to evolve to the executive arm of the Deputy Ministry of Growth that we have proposed, something which would strengthen its work through the concentration and redistribution of personnel, resources and material.”

Anastasiades referred to the reforms implemented since the 2013 financial crisis, adding the government aims to achieve the conditions of full employment by 2020, terminating the nightmare of unemployment, the Cyprus News Agency reports.

The President also said the government inter alia is promoting the new investment law featuring a real one-stop shop to serve businesses, a commercial court, as well the possibility to register a company in just 24 hours. He said that the field of investments should be left out of political wrangling, as Cyprus is edging closer to the presidential elections scheduled for January 24. “The field of investments should be considered by all of use as above any political wrangling,” Anastasiades said.

In his last address at a CIPA AGM, Chairman of CIPA Christodoulos Angastiniotis referred to the reforms implemented in Cyprus since the 2013 crisis, adding the collective effort to secure the conditions of sustainable economic growth should be left out of political wrangling. “Let us try and keep this important sector of investments, with which we have confirmed that healthy growth is possible, outside political wrangling. Irrespective of the results of the forthcoming elections, we all have a responsibility to improve the business environment through the necessary reforms that will make Cyprus more attractive for investments, over and above party motivations or personal ambitions that could damage our successful endeavours to date.”

In this context, Angastiniotis urged the House of Representatives to move quickly with approving the bill to set up an under-secretariat on growth and competitiveness and the bill to facilitate investments.

Angastiniotis said 2016, the year under review at the AGM, coincided with important developments, such as increased investment interest in all productive sectors and the emergence of significant alternative sectors such as investment funds, the number of which is rising at an impressive rate of around 18%.

Other positive developments cited were the keen interest from multinationals active in Cyprus in the past years which are expanding their presence, the successive upgrades from the rating agencies and GDP growth.

CIFA President, Angelos Gregoriades on his part said the Cyprus’ financial services sector continues to expand in terms of size, reputation and attractiveness, backed by a resilient regulatory framework, prudent supervision, consumer protection, and strong money laundering prevention mechanisms. 

He added that “the robustness of the sector is reflected in the continued registration of new companies and funds and investment vehicles, providing employment opportunities both within the direct financial intermediation segment and other related professional services activities.”

“Coming soon is an ambitious additional reform of the legal framework regarding investment funds including provisions for the introduction of registered funds, partnerships with legal personality and the introduction of a ‘Mini Manager’ concept for managing assets up to a certain threshold,” he said.

In her address, CIPA Director General Natasha Pilides outlined the most important direct foreign investments in Cyprus in 2016 in all the priority sectors.

Moreover, presenting CIPA’s strategy for 2017-2020, she set out the organisation’s vision, actions and objectives and analysed the new initiatives to promote Cyprus abroad and the actions planned to take place over that period.

She also made special reference to actions underway to promote the audio-visual sector, innovation, investment funds and start-ups.  In closing, the director general referred to CIPA’s new initiative “Invest Career”, an internet tool to match the companies’ increasing needs for talented human resources with professionals seeking employment opportunities, about which more details will be announced at the start of the New Year.