Minister of Finance: Cyprus Remains a Strong Market Economy
Nicosia, Jul 2 - Minister of Finance Charilaos Stavrakis stated at the Annual General Meeting of the Cyprus International Business Association yesterday that, “Cyprus remains a healthy, robust and flexible market economy, in which International Business can establish themselves and do business effectively in the region and around the world enjoying the comparative advantages offered by the island as a regional and international business center.”
The Minister said that during the last thirty years Cyprus has succeeded in being transformed into a reputable, well regulated international business center.
“This achievement was made possible because you have chosen Cyprus for your activities and took advantage of its comparative advantages”, Mr. Stavrakis said.
Referring to the adoption of the euro, the Minister said that is expected to strengthen economic growth and foreign investment, through the improvement of the overall business environment and the strengthening of confidence that international markets and investors place in the Cypriot economy.
Referring to the economic data of 2007, he said that Cyprus achieved a high growth rate and a strong employment performance.
At the same time, there has been a decisive improvement in public finances and a strengthening of the conditions of macroeconomic stability of the Cyprus economy.
Moreover, the high rate of economic growth under conditions of macroeconomic stability has facilitated real convergence with the EU economy.
Referring to the prospects for 2008, he said they appear to be generally positive despite an adverse external environment and increased risks.
The fiscal target of a surplus of 0,5% of GDP is expected to be achieved, whereas the public debt is anticipated to continue following a downward trend to below 50%.
The Minister said that the international business sector has steadily become a vital and substantial contributor to the Cyprus economy and its future prospects.
“Our presence here underlines our appreciation but also our commitment to the sector. We are here to thank you for your contribution to the economy but also to listen to your problems”, he told delegates.
Mr. Stavrakis clarified that he cannot say that all suggestions can be adopted and all issues can be resolved immediately but he promised that the government would “intensify its efforts in order to improve the business environment in Cyprus and provide extensive after care service”.
“After all, you are the frontline in our efforts to promote the island as a business and investment center”, he concluded.