The Finance Ministry outlined its “Vision 2035”, the long-term strategy for a sustainable growth model for Cyprus underpinned by green growth and digitisation.
Addressing an online conference, Finance Minister Constantinos Petrides said the long-term Strategy “should be embraced by the community as a whole as it concerns not only the Finance Ministry and the government but is a collective effort.”
Petrides said this central planning is the first since the 1974 Turkish invasion when the World Bank prepared a plan providing for the evolution of the then Cypriot rural economy to a modern economy utilising the services sector.
“This is the first time we see this vision and this central planning reflected in the state budgets and this planning is being implemented,” he stressed.
Petrides also said that on the basis of this philosophy Cyprus has drafted in collaboration with the Economy and Competitiveness Council (Ecompet) and the European Commission its €1.2 billion National Recovery and Resilience Plan approved by the European Commission.
“We need to continue implementing the Vision 2035 which is the vision of the society and the economy for the years to come,” he said.
Furthermore, Petrides said Cyprus’ tourism sector has been diversified through a separate strategy that assisted the government to weather the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Recession would not be smaller if we didn’t proceed with a change of this model placing emphasis in new sectors of the economy,” he added.
The Finance Minister noted that the Strategy aims to develop the primary sector of the economy, which has been long-forgotten.
Takis Clerides, President of Ecompet said “our aim is to shape a comprehensive strategy for the transition to a modern economic model which will secure long-term economic sustainability and resilience, which ultimately aims to secure prosperity of today’s citizens but also generations to come.”
On his part, Andreas Assiotis member of the Ecompet and head of the steering committee economic resilience will be achieved when the combined contribution of the five largest sectors will not exceed 50% of the total GDP growth compared with around 75% today.
Philippos Sosilos, partner of PwC Cyprus said that many of the nine countries which along with Cyprus joined the European Union in 2004 have surpassed Cyprus in development.
“And if we continue with the same pace Cyprus faces the risk of being overpassed by all,” he said, noting that Cyprus competitiveness "was mainly opportunistic.”
The long-term strategy will be open for suggestions until August 9 when the public consultation concludes.