A presentation of Cyprus as a promising destination for UK and other foreign firms and investors has won plaudits from members of the London investment and business community.
Being the keynote speaker in a Cyprus-UK Business Forum held on 8 November at Bloomberg’s headquarters in the UK capital, the Minister for Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism Giorgos Lakkotrypis attempted to lure British investors in the wake of the Mediterranean island’s economic recovery and the vote for Brexit.
The Republic of Cyprus’s EU and eurozone membership, the reliable legal framework based on the British model, the strategic location, the sound taxation system, the well-developed infrastructure, the rich human talent, the ease of doing business and the indisputable high quality of life are more than good enough reasons for anyone to entrust his money on the island’s potentially profitable sectors, said Mr Lakkotrypis.
On tourism and hospitality, the Minister pointed to figures revealing a record breaking year in terms of international tourist arrivals. For the first time Cyprus is projected to have attracted more 3.1 million tourists by the end of the current year.
The prospect of Cyprus becoming an energy hub in the eastern Mediterranean keeps bringing in investments by the big international energy firms, added Mr Lakkotrypis, thus aligning Cyprus’s interests with those of much more powerful governments.
He also reminded his audience that Cyprus boasts one of the largest fleets of commercial ships in the world, that there has been a growing trend towards making the island a base for investment funds management firms and that Cyprus has been giving emphasis on enhancing technology and information capabilities.
The Minister also praised Cyprus’s long tradition on high standard professional services. As he noted, in the first ten months of the current year there was an increase of new firms’ registration of 22% in Cyprus, a rise for the 14 consecutive month. “Trust is coming back,” commented Mr Lakkotrypis.
In terms of Brexit, the Cypriot minister said that what Cyprus is offering is not an alternative base for UK firms that may have concerns regarding the future outside the EU, but a “complementary” home.
A British investor that has long been following developments in Cyprus commented that this was a unique approach that might actually work and make British businesses think seriously about the possibility of choosing Cyprus over Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Paris, Dublin or Madrid – cities that have been vying for UK firms, especially financial ones, with “some arrogance and quite aggressively.”
According to a UK financier present at the London event, “the Cypriot pitch is excellent; not trying to ‘steal’ UK firms, but cleverly offering the best of both worlds.”/IBNA