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The motto ‘Cyprus, a destination to live in and invest’ is broadly and successfully used in the present, competitive environment. But is this just a motto or does it reflect the reality? A brief analysis of the recent developments and the ongoing initiatives can convince any investor that Cyprus is committed, in continuous efforts, to further enhance the pre-existing foundations for promising investment opportunities.

Cyprus has not only managed to successfully exit the Economic Adjustment Programme and the financial recession of 2013, but has made a significant financial recovery and taken substantial growth initiatives that further enhance its comparative advantage as a country, The increasing number of investments in several economic Sectors including Real Estate, Corporate and Tourism, indicates that Cyprus is heading in the right direction.

Τhe Republic of Cyprus, in its attempt to capitalize on its upward trend in investments and to further boost the profile of the Country, initiated the procedure for the establishment of three Deputy Ministries in areas where the Country has comparative advantage. In this respect, the bills for the establishment of Deputy Ministries for Tourism, Maritime and Growth and Competitiveness have been approved by the Council of Ministers and are, at this point in time, before the House of Representatives.

Deputy Ministry for Maritime Affairs:
The establishment of a Deputy Ministry for Maritime Affairs can be considered as a necessity based on Cyprus’ position in the Shipping Global Map as one of the leading countries in Europe and Internationally in the Ship Register. In fact, in 2016, the Cyprus Registry was the 11th largest merchant fleet in the world and the third largest fleet in the European Union.

The establishment of the Deputy Ministry for Maritime Affairs will contribute to the creation of an easily identifiable structure, which will respond promptly to the international challenges and will further upgrade Cyprus as a Maritime Centre.

Hence this effort is anticipated to:
operate as a lever to attract additional high quality ship owners and shipping companies to Cyprus,
offer all the guarantees to the already registered Shipping Companies,
contribute to the day-to-day operations of the Sector and allow for more individualized approach to be developed, and
facilitate the implementation of strategies that will efficiently respond to the ever-changing demands of the World Economy and international competition, thereby maximizing the possibilities and prospects of business success for each Shipping Investor.

Deputy Ministry for Growth and Competitiveness
The establishment of a Deputy Ministry for Growth and Competitiveness is an evident example of the Country’s commitment to upgrading the present conditions and investing in a new growth model. This will combat the fragmentation of responsibilities, lead to the simplification of procedures and boost the entrepreneurial culture of the Country.

The new structure is anticipated to:

act as one stop-shop for investors interested in strategic developmental projects,
overcome time consuming procedures,
examine, on a continuous and comprehensive basis, the incentives provided to the investors and the general policy framework, develop a more individualized approach for investors, upgrade the provision of electronic services and thus speed up the processes, and develop sectoral strategies in vital areas for investment.

Deputy Ministry for Tourism

The new structure, under consideration at present, is anticipated to render the Sector even more attractive and to contribute to the positive image of Cyprus abroad. A more integrated and targeted promotion of Cyprus can lead to multiple benefits for anyone involved in the Industry and can boost investment profitability. In addition, through the simplification of the existing procedures, the Tourism Industry will become even more attractive and promising for domestic and foreign investments.

The aforementioned initiatives show that Cyprus is a country with a vision, ready to respond to the contemporary challenges. The positive results are evident in the significant interest showed by investors in several traditional and emerging Sectors, for example, the investment in large scale projects such as the Integrated Casino Resort and Marinas across the island, the privatization of Limassol’s Port which provides new opportunities in the areas of shipping and services and the investment in the Real Estate Sector. Cyprus is moving forward with an upgraded profile. Despite the highly competitive and rapidly changing international environment, the Country has demonstrated that it deserves to be regarded by the investment community as a serious, modern and attractive destination.

Undoubtedly, there is great potential and fertile ground for the Country to reach the highest business level. The aforementioned initiatives demonstrate that Cyprus is ready to exploit the tremendous prospects for further growth and development and to undertake all the measures needed in order to constantly enhance its profile as “a destination to live in and invest”.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought on your specific circumstances.
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