Arab investors urged to consider energy and tourism - Lebanon trade at 60 mln and rising
Georges Chehwane President of the Lebanese-Cypriot Business Council and Chairman of Plus Properties GC Ltd expressed the need to expand and boost the trade in energy, services and tourism sectors between Cyprus and the Arab world.
During a session held within the framework of BestInvest Cyprus Conference and Exhibition at the Grand Resort Hotel Limassol on Monday, Chehwane highlighted on the exceptional opportunities offered by Cyprus to investors particularly from the Arab world.
In his speech, Chehwane insisted that Cyprus is The Island of Opportunities; not only for the services offered by the island or the well-trained personnel operating in the market but as well for the fact that Cyprus is the bridge between Europe and the Arab world.
“There is a high potential of Arab entrepreneurs using the strategic location of Cyprus as a platform for their companies’ activities towards European market”.
He added, “today, Lebanese and Cypriot continue to maintain real and strong relationship expanding to a larger scale of activities covering the economic and social life of our two countries.”
Among other topics, Georges Chehwane declared that Lebanon is one of the main trading partners to Cyprus in the Middle East with a total trade exceeding the amount of EUR 60 mln in 2012 and still growing.
Chehwane urged conference delegates that tourism must be encouraged between Cyprus and the Arab world by organising cruises between these countries especially now that tourism from Lebanon to Cyprus has been increasing with the years.
The President of the Lebanese - Cypriot Business Council emphasised that the possibilities for lucrative investments are becoming even bigger and encouraged entrepreneurs and the respective Chambers of Commerce to proceed with their exploration for business opportunities.
Referring to Lebanese companies operating in Cyprus, mainly in real estate, financial services and commerce, Chehwane noted that promoting commercial cooperation between Cyprus and Lebanon has been introduced, adding, “This is the reason that both sides must carry on with their efforts to promote actions aimed at exchanging knowledge and experience”.
The energy sector was raised in session, whereas Chehwane revealed this that Cyprus is in the process of finding and exploring hydrocarbons in the Exclusive Zone of the country, referring to the discussions and agreements encouraging the bilateral cooperation in the energy sector; hoping for Lebanon to accelerate decisions for the country’s welfare.
According to all international financial and economic institutions, Cyprus has been well recovering from the crisis that hit the island in year 2013; giving more confidence, trust and insurance to businessmen from around the world to contribute and invest in different sectors of this island.
“The Cypriot government has established a number of incentives to attract foreign direct investments into the country.” He added, “one of these incentives is the two golden visa programmes: one for permanent residency and one for citizenship. These two schemes have been perceived among the fastest, simplest and most efficient at granting a residency permit and second passport while attracting a significant number of investors looking to seize such opportunities”.
During his speech, Georges Chehwane revealed his faith in Cyprus while pointing out to the achievements Plus Properties has accomplished in this island during the past few years.
As the Chairman of the real estate company, Chehwane spoke of the eight residential projects under development within the areas of Larnaca and Limassol; among which three projects are already under high speed construction and to be delivered soon.
Georges Chehwane concluded his speech by revealing the role and objectives of the Lebanese Cypriot Business Council and mentioned several events contributing in the economic growth of Cyprus such as: The Casino launching, the new marinas projects in Ayia Napa, Protaras, Larnaca and Paphos.
“The launching of Ayia Napa Marina was nothing but a success”, said Chehwane, the extraction of gas and oil scheduled to be implemented very soon, the new amendments on the citizenship and the permanent residency programmes attracting further investors especially the Arabs considering the instability in the region and last but not least, the attractive tax system which is inspiring many companies to relocate their headquarters or even open branches in the Republic of Cyprus.