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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 00-10-26
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
Thursday, 26 October 2000
 Cyprus not a tax haven, says Finance MinisterFinance Minister, Takis Klerides, yesterday stressed that Cyprus neither is, nor aims to be a tax heaven, pointing out that the Republic's overriding objective is to gain access to the European Union as soon as possible.
In his address at a seminar organised by the Cyprus Financial Services Association, Mr Klerides said foreign exchange earnings from international business activity amounted to 234 million Cyprus pounds or 4,7 per cent of GDP in 1999
He said Cyprus has embarked on a programme for harmonisation of its taxation and other policies with those of the EU.
He added that the government has called in an expert to examine the island's present tax regime in relation to developments in the EU and to make suggestions concerning the best policy alternatives.
"We are ready to reform and redevise the existing package of incentives in a way that, on the one hand will be compatible with our EU aspirations and on the other will safeguard the special status of Cyprus as an international business centre", he said.
He expressed his conviction that the international business activities will continue to expand in Cyprus in the future because the island's success was not based on the existing tax incentives but mainly on the existence comparative advantages rendering it attractive as a regional centre.
Such advantages, he said, included Cyprus's internal and external economic stability and its important geographical position.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/