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New incentive scheme for attracting high-tech companies

09/09/2021 09:41

The government of Cyprus will announce in the following months a new incentive scheme for attracting high-tech companies, which will facilitate the establishment and hiring of employees as well as offer tax incentives and expedited licensing procedures, Cyprus President, Nicos Anastasiades, said on Wednesday evening, addressing  the 9th Annual Cyprus International Investment Awards that took place at the Presidential Palace.

According to the President, this scheme complements other initiatives undertaken recently, such as the introduction of an employment route for skilled third country nationals specialising in the Information and Communications Sector, and the establishment of a Fast-Track Business Activation Mechanism aiming to simplify the services offered by the public sector to businesses wishing to establish presence in Cyprus.

Anastasiades said, among others, in his address, that the Cypriot economy has entered a path of recovery, growing by 12.8% in the second quarter of 2021, exceeding initial expectations and demonstrating positive prospects for the upcoming quarters.

“Our motto in Cyprus is that with every challenge there is an opportunity”, he noted, adding that the government’s broader strategy for economic recovery also includes the implementation of much needed structural reforms for the further development of key economic sectors.

To this end, we have taken a holistic approach and concrete steps to support sustainable development through our government’s plan “Cyprus for Tomorrow” with an overall budget of €4.4 billion, comprising the main European Funds, namely the Recovery and Resilience Fund and the Cohesion funds, he noted.

He went on to say that this plan is geared towards helping the recovery of the economy as well as the creation of a new vision for the country that would work as a road-map for the post-Covid era.

It is a key tool to restore economic activity and employment to the same levels as before the pandemic and to effectively lead towards green and digital transition, he added.

President Anastasiades further noted that in order to address the challenges that we are facing, numerous reforms are being promoted, among others in the fields of public and local administration, the health, labour, educational and justice system, as well as the liberalisation of the energy market, digital transformation and research and innovation.

In parallel, through the plan “Cyprus for Tomorrow” a National Promotional Agency is to be established, with which numerous funding programmes and schemes are expected to improve access to finance and liquidity, especially for small and medium – sized enterprises, Anastasiades said.

At the same time, he added, grant schemes for research and innovation, as well as the establishment of a central knowledge transfer office are expected to increase investments in research and innovation.

The President noted that according to the latest report of the Institute for Management Development for the World Competitiveness Centre 2020, Cyprus’ ability to attract and facilitate foreign direct investment and the adaptability of its policies, have yielded remarkable results.

Particularly, Cyprus has been named the most improved country, climbing eleven spots and ranking 30th globally. The above results clearly show that over the years, Cyprus has evolved into a key destination for international business and investment in the region, with significant potential to become a world-class hub, President Anastasiadew underlined.

At the same time, he assured that “we will not deviate from the path of the sound governance of public finances, complemented by a business-friendly investment environment, moving forward with a comprehensive government strategy for investment facilitation in order to transform Cyprus into the ‘Sustainable Business and Trade Centre of Europe’.”