Cyprus Chamber of Commerce & Industry Optimism For 2016

2015 turned out to be a much better year than expected and 2016 is going to be even better, according to Phidias Pilides, President of the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce & Industry (CCCI) in his New Year message.

He cites improved public finances, upgrades by international rating agencies and the successful bond issues as proof of the economy’s growth trajectory, though he recognizes that not all the problems caused by the financial crisis have yet been resolved.
“It is clear that the economy is entering a new phase,” Pilides states, but he notes that “new initiatives are required in specific areas that continue to be problematic: weaknesses in the real economy, dysfunction in the banking sector and delays in promoting essential reforms.” Noting that the main responsibility for such decisions lies with the Government, he says that no-one can remain outside the process: “The sacrifices made in recent years by the people of Cyprus must not have been for nothing.”

Pilides goes on to state that the main objective in 2016 must be to revive the real economy and to provide practical support to business and productive areas of the economy. “The Government and political leaders, in close cooperation with the business community, need to find solutions to the burning unemployment problem, to increase liquidity in the market, to reinforce the business environment and, generally speaking, to support those sectors that can contribute to further economic growth.”
Furthermore, the CCCI President notes, the Central Bank and the commercial banks must deal decisively with the issue of non-performing loans, re-examine the question of high interest rates, facilitate loans to businesses and enable to banking system to play its prime role, that of funding growth. “At the same time,” he adds, “it is imperative that the necessary reforms to the State and the privatisation of semi-government organisations are carried out unwaveringly.”

Pilides also urges greater emphasis on “promising new areas such as energy, innovation, technology, private medicine and private education” as well as greater support for traditional sectors such as tourism, professional services, shipping, manufacturing, agriculture and commerce and the promotion of development projects including the casino resort, golf courses, marinas and more.
In conclusion, Pilides declares that the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce & Industry is optimistic about the coming year, “which may be the key that will definitively set the economy on a clear course of positive growth.”