New tax breaks to at­tract in­vest­ments

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

Pres­i­dent Ni­cos Anas­tasi­ades said that his Gov­ern­ment plans to an­nounce new tax in­cen­tives to at­tract for­eign in­vest­ments, but also for the ben­e­fit of Cypriot cit­i­zens and en­ter­prises.

In his speech at the an­nual meet­ing of the Em­ploy­ers and In­dus­tri­al­ists Fed­er­a­tion (OEV), the Pres­i­dent said that the Min­istry of Fi­nance will soon an­nounce plans to im­prove the tax­a­tion frame­work, pro­vid­ing fa­cil­i­ties to at­tract more for­eign in­vest­ment.

“We aim to be­come the first gov­ern­ment that along with the re­duc­tion of public debt will also achieve the re­duc­tion of the tax bur­den im­posed in the past. Heavy taxes mu­ti­late the in­come of cit­i­zens and busi­nesses and suf­fo­cate the econ­omy,” he said.

He added that the gov­ern­ment’s main goal for this year is to exit from the re­ces­sion and to fi­nally re­store the coun­try’s sovereign rat­ing, which would al­low the com­ple­tion of the eco­nomic ad­just­ment pro­gramme with the Troika of in­ter­na­tional lenders within the next ten months.

The Pres­i­dent also re­ferred to his vis­its abroad to at­tract for­eign in­vestors say­ing that there were pos­i­tive signs and he ex­pected con­crete re­sults in the fu­ture.

He also un­der­lined his gov­ern­ment’s will­ing­ness for the re­form and mod­erni­sa­tion of the state to be more friendly to pri­vate ini­tia­tives.

In re­la­tion to public fi­nances, he re­ferred to statis­tics show­ing im­prove­ment in the num­bers and a pos­i­tive growth rate af­ter 14 con­tin­u­ous quar­ters of neg­a­tive growth rate. As he said, this was an im­por­tant devel­op­ment that con­firmed the pos­i­tive prospects of the econ­omy, with­out im­pos­ing new taxes for two years.

Re­fer­ring to the Cyprus prob­lem and the re­sump­tion of the ne­go­ti­a­tions with the new Turk­ish Cypriot leader Mustafa Ak­inci, Anas­tasi­ades said that they share a com­mon vi­sion and he ex­pressed the view that to­gether they would man­age to heal the open wounds af­fect­ing the coun­try for decades.

He added that it was com­mon­place that peace was syn­ony­mous with se­cu­rity and se­cu­rity was a pre­req­ui­site for in­vest­ment and growth.

He also said that a set­tle­ment would have a pos­i­tive ef­fect on the whole re­gion and would pri­mar­ily ben­e­fit Turk­ish Cypri­ots and Greek Cypri­ots.

“Cyprus with the Cyprus is­sue re­solved will un­doubt­edly be the most sta­ble coun­try in our re­gion and this in com­bi­na­tion with its ex­ist­ing high-level in­fra­struc­ture and per­son­nel, cre­ates ad­di­tional in­cen­tives among po­ten­tial in­vestors. We can make our coun­try an at­trac­tive des­ti­na­tion for multi­na­tional com­pa­nies, while the favourable en­vi­ron­ment will have a di­rect im­pact on the devel­op­ment of our tra­di­tional tourist prod­uct,” he said.

At the same time he re­ferred to the new op­por­tu­ni­ties for Cyprus in the eastern Mediter­ranean and wel­comed the fact that other lead­ers in the re­gion are determined to co­op­er­ate.

The Pres­i­dent also said the EU is for all Euro­pean cit­i­zens and the Turk­ish Cypri­ots are and should be equal cit­i­zens of the EU, just like Greek Cypri­ots are.

“And this will hap­pen through the safe­guard­ing of hu­man rights and the four fun­da­men­tal free­doms and based on the prin­ci­ples and ac­qui com­mu­nau­taire”, he con­cluded.

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