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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 09-05-22

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    President of the Republic of Cyprus, Demetris Christofias, has said that the governments goal is to place Cyprus on the world investors map and mobilise the attraction of investment funds to the greatest possible degree.

    In a speech at the opening of the 34th Cyprus International Fair, in Nicosia, President Christofias stressed that the government has launched a coordinated effort to inform foreign investors about the countrys advantages, noting among other benefits the lowest tax rates in Europe and agreements to avoid double taxation.

    The agreement with the Russian Federation to avoid double taxation but also to remove Cyprus from the black list has been a great success in this field, he pointed out, adding that our goal is to place Cyprus on the world investors map and to mobilize the attraction of investment funds to the greatest possible degree. The attraction of foreign investments is a great challenge and a great opportunity for our country.

    Referring to the Cyprus economy, the President noted that in comparison with the economies of other countries it has proven that it has strong resistance and resilience.

    The second semester of 2009, he said, is expected to be difficult, but noted that all the necessary measures are being taken so that the crisis may inflict the fewer possible consequences on the economy.

    President Christofias pointed out that during 2008 Cyprus managed to achieve the third best growth rate in the European Union, that is 3.7% and according to official European Union figures, it is possible that during 2009 Cyprus will have the highest growth rate amongst the eurozone countries reaching a growth rate of 1.6 percent during the first three months of 2009.

    Local exports during 2008 have increased by approximately 8% in relation to 2007, he said, adding that in 2009 there are plans to reinforce even further the role and significance of economic diplomacy by founding new Commercial Centres and placing Commercial Councilors in markets showing encouraging prospects, thus providing the foundations for expansion to new markets.

    Regarding the particularity of this years 34th Cyprus International Fair, he said, it rests on the fact that it is taking place at an especially critical time for the world economy.

    He described the Cyprus International Fair, as one of the most important institutions that have been established in our country, adding that it reflects the economic dynamism of the Cypriot society and depicts the extroversion of our economy.

    The Cypriot President noted that one of the aims of the government is to strengthen and establish the role of Cyprus as an international business and as a centre of services.

    Our aim is to make use of our countrys comparative advantages in order to manifestly make it a modern international business and service centre. A series of seminars has already been organized and within the second semester of 2009 more seminars will be organized in countries of Europe, the Middle East, Asia and America, he went on to say.

    Furthermore, he said the government aims to develop our industry, small and medium-sized businesses and entrepreneurship, a policy which is in line with the guidelines and recommendations of the EU.

    Especially now, during the world financial crisis, small and medium-sized enterprises, which represent 99% of the Cypriot businesses, play the main role for a financial stability and development through the creation of sources of income and jobs, he pointed out.

    Another goal, he said, is to promote high technology and innovation in industry.

    The promotion of innovation, research and the implementation of new technologies is also one of our basic strategic goals. We are encouraging and supporting, with specific actions and grants, the promotion of high technology and innovation in the industrial sector and also the qualitative upgrading of local products and services, the Cypriot President added.

    He also referred to the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism which is promoting activities like the creation of a Scientific Technological Park, company incubators, the Innovation Award and the Competition for Entrepreneurs. Describing the field of energy as top priority for the government, he said the government seeks to meet the countrys energy needs and safeguard healthy competition in the market.

    Recognizing the need to face new challenges in the field of energy, we are drastically intervening with structural and institutional changes, he said and referred to some of the important steps of the government policy in this direction

    These steps, he said, are the liberalization of the electricity market, through opening to free competition about 35%, the liberalization of the oil market through abolishing cross subsidies between various fuels, formulating prices on the basis of market regulations and adjusting taxation and the creation of storing terminals for oil reserves for strategic and operational purposes.

    Other steps include the implementation of development programmes and the use of technologies for saving energy, for exploiting domestic renewable energy sources and for protecting the environment from industrial pollution, the promotion of fuels and other forms of energy that are more environment friendly, like natural gas and the reinforcement of the country`s geostrategic role, via the recording of the energy potential within the Republic of Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone.

    The people of Cyprus as a whole will benefit from such achievements, he concluded.


    The US is committed to the reunification of Cyprus as a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation, US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton has stressed.

    Addressing the 25th Annual Cyprus, Hellenic and Orthodox Issues Conference, which took place Friday in Washington, Clinton noted that the Cyprus solution must be a decision that is reached by the people of Cyprus themselves.

    We believe in a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation, and were going to continue to support that and work toward that. And again, we think it is in everyones interest, she said.

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