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Bureaucracy “kills” foreign investments

08/11/2011 13:56
Cyprus’s effort to remain and be strengthened as a business centre is “strangled” by bureaucracy.

This is what became clear during the House Commerce Committee’s talks, which examined the need to take measures so as to boost the country as a business center.

As it was reported, Malta is 5 to 6 years ahead of Cyprus in its efforts to become an International Business Center.

CIPA Board member, Angelos Gregoriades said that bureaucracy is the main reason for the delays.

He also stressed the need for the approval of ten bills, which will contribute to growth, such as that for the provision of management services, the collective investments, the managers of alternative investments organizations, the taxation on betting and the agreements for the double-tax avoidance.

According to Mr. Gregoriades, the Labour Ministry and the SEC do not have sufficient staff to deal with CIPA’s requests.

He requested the strengthening of the SEC and the additional manning of the double-tax avoidance department of the Finance Ministry. “They all stumble at bureaucracy”, Mr. Gregoriades said.

On the other hand, the Finance Ministry representative ensured that the business centre is among the Ministry’s priorities and added that this needs healthy economy.

“The priority at the current stage is to stabilize economy. The third package that the government will submit needs healthy economy”, he said.

On behalf of the Central Bank, Eleni Gregoriadou said that no matter how many bills will be passed, no serious investors will come to Cyprus if the country does not give the impression that it is an offshore centre.

She stressed the need for the launch of an organization that will promote Cyprus via seminars organized on the island.

At the same time, she rejected CIPA’s spikes against SEC, stating that there is adequate staff but if the bills are approved, it will need specialized staff. Chairman of the House Commerce Committee and DISY MP, Lefteris Christoforou stated that the Committee focuses on the need to take measures so as to shield Cyprus as a business center. At the same time, he urged the government to submit the bills immediately.

According to AKEL MP, Yiannakis Gavriel, the Finance and Commerce Ministries told to the Committee that their cooperation with CIPA, CCCI and OEB is excellent. “However, we have to find ways to eliminate bureaucracy that hits the foreign and domestic investments”, he concluded.