New York.- By Apostolos Zoupaniotis
Cyprus President Demetris Christofias invited investors from USA to invest in Cyprus taking advantage of the benefits given by Cyprus government. The President of Cyprus was speaking at the Harvard Club, in front of a selective group of investors, at the opening night of a two day seminar organized by the Cyprus Embassy Trade Center, Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and the Cyprus-US Chamber of Commerce in association with the Hellenic Lawyers Association and the Hellenic American Bankers Association.
President Christofias stressed that Cyprus is “in comparison to other countries, a paradise for investments” because it has “a low tax rate, a stable economy, a macroeconomic stability and a left wing government”. This is a guarantee for stability, he added.
As President Christofias said, the government has a very close and excellent relation with the Chamber of Commerce and the Association of Employers in Cyprus and these two organizations “are supporting consciously the government and the President of the Republic and I want publicly to congratulate them and to express my gratitude for their support”.
He stressed also that this kind of meetings should be organized in Cyprus, because the participants “have to touch Cyprus’ beauty and the benefits of the development of enterprises in our country”.
At his speech Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Antonis Paschalides stressed that despite the prevailing adverse economic climate in 2008, “the Cypriot economy experienced a higher than the EU – average growth rate of 3,6%, a low unemployment rate of 3,7%, 4,4% inflation and an average per capita income, which in terms of purchasing power, corresponds to almost 95% of the EU average”.
Strategically situated at the crossroads of three continents and serving Europe’s South Eastern outpost, Cyprus has a favorable environment for all types of business, a modern and transparent legal framework, a liberal investment policy that allows up to 100% foreign participation in most sectors of the economy, freedom of movement of foreign currency and a low corporate tax of 10%, the lowest in the whole of the European Union, Paschalides said.
He mentioned the comprehensive range of services from accounting and banking to business consulting, legal services, IT, shipping and marketing adding that Cyprus ranks among the leading maritime nations and is one of the world’s largest shipping management centers and transit centers in the East Mediterranean.
Paschalides made a special reference to the signed agreements with two of the top American Universities, Harvard and Massachusetts IT and added that they are in process of negotiating with Microsoft Corporation for an extensive collaboration in various areas. “A number of joint ventures can be established between Cypriot and American companies, such as construction projects, an area where Cypriot companies excel are active worldwide”. He mentioned also the re-exporting products in the neighboring countries, a market of 500 million citizens.
Our policy is to create a stimulating environment and the necessary conditions for such cooperation to develop into successful business ventures, added Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism.
The seminar entitled “Cyprus: A Strategic Global Business Center and Ideal Intermediate Investment Jurisdiction” offered the opportunity to prospective investors to learn about Cyprus as a corporate holding jurisdiction and investment platform for US outbound investment, the formation and administration of investment funds in Cyprus, tax treaty developments and Cyprus’ role as an international business and financial center
Two powerful programs on September 24 and 25 explained how a presence in Cyprus can benefit a U.S. organization. Perfectly positioned as a professional services resource and investment center, Cyprus offers a highly favorable environment for all forms of inward and transitional business activity and is ideal for virtually every type of investment activity.
· Strategic location between Europe and the Middle East
· Preferential tax regime with the lowest corporation tax rate in the EU
· Bilateral trade and taxation agreements with every economy of interest to international investors
· Highly educated and bi-lingual workforce particularly skilled in accounting and law
· Legal and accounting framework based on UK law and practice
Cypriot Trade Commissioner, Aristos Constantinou, told the Greek News that “for the Republic of Cyprus as it became well known, the attraction and fostering direct investment is one of our primary objectives. In this spirit, we are holding tonight a very high level event. The investment firms and businesses that are here tonight represent above 2 trillion dollars in hard assets. The speakers and specialists in tax structures, hedge fund administration etc are presenting the benefits of Cyprus, hoping to attract a great participation from U.S. firms in Cyprus.”
Newly Elected President of the Cyprus – US Chamber of Commerce, Denis Droussiotis told the Greek News that the purpose of the event was “to give a brief overview in a easy setting of what Cyprus has to offer to the American businessmen, when in fact they are doing business in the area, in the Middle East, the Balkans or Southern Europe. Cyprus is gaining more and more in business activity for transshipments, for hosting regional offices. The United States has been a very important market. We have 100 of the top Fortune 500 companies with offices in Cyprus and now are going after even more, hoping that in light of the American economy getting stronger and in light of the dollar being at its weakest, exports will get a boost. U.S. exports have a new change re-emerging in the international market.”.
The speakers included Chris Christodoulou, President of the Cyprus American Business Association, Christodoulos Agastiniotis, President of the Nicosia Chamber of Commerce and Industry, representatives of the Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency and prominent tax specialists and lawyers from Cyprus.