New tax breaks to attract investments
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.