Anastasiades: “We have turned the page”
The economy is on the road to full recovery, President Nicos Anastasiades told delegates at the Cyprus Investors Summit in Limassol on Monday night, but added that a delay in the review of Cyprus’ economic adjustment programme by the Troika of international lenders “was unnecessary.”
The review has been held back by the inspectors from the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the IMF, because opposition parties in parliament have held back a bill on foreclosures that would help banks recover their non-performing loans. On the other hand, red tape has also delayed the conclusion of a parallel framework on insolvencies, aimed to secure primary homes from going under the hammer.
“We have turned the page. The economy is now on the road towards full recovery,” said the President.
He said that the financial sector had been restructured and recapitalised, mainly through big international investors, and the credit institutions had passed the European stress tests with success. He added that fiscal imbalances have been addressed and important structural reforms were well underway.
President Cyprus was Anastasiades returning to pointed out that the international markets, far earlier than anyone expected and that the international lenders had themselves recognised the continuous improvements and praised Cyprus on many occasions, while the international rating agencies have upgraded the economy and its outlook.
“Despite the unnecessary delay in the conclusion of the fifth review of the economic adjustment programme due to the suspension of the application of the foreclosures law by the Parliament, we remain fully on track. We remain fully committed towards the implementation of the programme”, he said.
Concerning the business environment, Anastasiades said that having maintained a stable and investment friendly tax regime, the government was determined to proceed with the implementation of a series of bold structural reforms.
He added that the government’s objective was to boost the country’s global competitiveness and to make Cyprus one of the best places to start and to grow a business.
“To achieve this we have developed a comprehensive growth reform strategy which will curb bureaucracy and red tape, simplify procedures and regulation, and create a more enabling business and investment environment”, he said.
“My government has notably placed foreign investments at the top of its agenda from day one and in that respect has greatly facilitated them through measures that include, among others, reducing the time needed to issue permits, simplifying administrative procedures, licensing and encouraging the timely completion of projects”, said Anastasiades.
He noted that his government had embarked on an ambitious privatisation programme of state owned enterprises, to attract sound and sizeable foreign investments, while also allowing the organisations in question and their stakeholders to benefit in different ways.