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FinMin: Greece and Cyprus face common challenges

09/05/2022 09:01

Greece and Cyprus face common challenges and share a common direction for their solution said the Minister of Finance, Konstantinos Petrides, addressing the first Cyprus-Greece business Summit.

"Ensuring sustainable development and strengthening the resilience of the economy is one of the most important priorities of both the Greek and Cypriot governments", he said, noting that the 1st Greece - Cyprus Business Summit aspires to further strengthen the cooperation of the two countries, at institutional, administrative and financial level.

"I do not need to mention that national issues, and especially security issues, are completely intertwined with the economy and energy issues. And that is why the close cooperation between the two countries in the era of geopolitical instability we live in today, is not only vital but imperative", he added.

Referring to the pandemic crisis and the war in Ukraine, Petrides said that there is a new economic era coming. The characteristics of this new economic era include the end or reversal of globalization, with policies aimed more at concentrating production closer to consumption to avoid asymmetric external crises, with the EU already drawing its own roadmap for more autonomy. In addition, the new era is marked by the significantly higher price of energy, which can affect the overall prosperity.

According to the Minister, the possible loss of competitiveness of the European economy is another feature of the new economic era, due to the fact that the climate change policies, sustainable development and the green transition will not be pursued with such zeal and at as much cost in the same way from regions like Asia, Russia, and possibly the US. Finally, the Minister said he expects that there will be increased fiscal needs in the coming years to achieve the goals set by the EU.

That is why further diversification of the economic model, through a holistic approach and through very specific policies, investments and reforms is an insurmountable need, according to Petrides.

"And this is where Cyprus and Greece, despite the differences of each economy, have the same direction. We have shown both that with the right policies we can manage crises," he said.

According to the Minister, the two countries agree on the most possible development, the greatest possible use of the funds of the Cyprus and Greece Recovery Fund and the use of co-financing from the private sector, as much as possible private investment through a favorable business environment and incentives, the rational management of public finances and public resources, and reforms.

In this context, he noted, Cyprus developed the new Long-Term Strategy for the Sustainable Development of the Cypriot economy and a new, modern economic model, aimed at strengthening the sustainability, resilience and international competitiveness of the Cypriot economy, through more than 200 reforms and specific actions and programs for the next 15 years, added Petrides.

Through the joint cooperation of the two countries, the opportunity is given for projects of regional importance in the field of energy and telecommunications, he added, emphasizing the new submarine and terrestrial cable system East Med Corridor for telecommunication connectivity between Asia and Europe, which will pass through Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel, Cyprus and Greece and will end in Italy, as well as the project "Euro Asia Interconnector", for the interconnection of Israel-Cyprus-Greece systems, the need of which is intertwined with the challenges of the times and with energy connectivity, he said, he concluded.