Anas­tasi­ades: “We have turned the page”

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT 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.

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