NICOSIA – Invest Cyprus has been singled out for praise in a global competition to find and award the international best practices of investment promotion agencies for its reforms to improve the investment ecosystem on the island for tech investors.
Cyprus received a prestigious Honorable Mention in the WAIPA – World Bank Group 2021 Strengthening IPA Advocacy Services awards, which were announced October 21 during the 2021 World Investment Conference. Over 40 advocacy reform submissions were received for this year’s competition.
The award, hosted by the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA) and the World Bank Group, recognized Invest Cyprus’ efforts to identify regulatory bottlenecks and gaps in the tech ecosystem in Cyprus through in-depth analysis and its work with the Government and other stakeholders to drive a package of reforms.
As a direct result of Invest Cyprus’s advocacy efforts, Cyprus has introduced a new Immigration Framework that allows ICT companies to employ specialized non-EU personnel into Cyprus, and offers tax incentives for individuals relocating to Cyprus. Tech companies can also take advantage of a new Fast Track Business Activation Mechanism, which means they can complete all necessary procedures for the registration and incorporation of a company in Cyprus within seven working days.
George Campanellas, Chief Executive of Invest Cyprus, said: “We are delighted by this award, which reflects the important role that investment agencies can have to influence needed reforms. While not a regulator, Invest Cyprus has day-to-day contact with foreign investors and is well placed to help deliver a rapid response to challenges through advocating and catalyzing reforms to improve the business environment.”
Speaking about the project carried out early last year by Invest Cyprus, Campanellas added: “The need to diversify the economy of Cyprus has long been recognized, and our research showed there was significant potential to build our ICT and fintech sector.
“Getting public and private buy-in for our proposed reform package we developed was crucial, and our advocacy efforts were aimed at ensuring key decision makers and the private sector were on board with our recommendations and we could be satisfied that the policies would be embraced and promoted.”
The award comes in the same week that Invest Cyprus was awarded the new Regional Directorship of Eastern Europe and elected to the WAIPA Steering Committee. Invest Cyprus will represent the voice of member investment promotion agencies until 2023.
Hosted by FDI Dubai, the 2021 World Investment Conference was attended by nearly 130 global investment agencies. The Strengthening IPA Advocacy Services competition, hosted by WBG and WAIPA, aims to emphasize the key benefits of IPAs’ advocacy services by collecting and disseminating IPA advocacy success stories.
Campanellas, Chief Executive of Invest Cyprus, expressed his gratitude to fellow WAIPA members for recognizing Invest Cyprus’ positive contribution over the years and voting him to this important position: “Cyprus has been a member of this high esteemed International Organization since 2008 and I am very excited to have been elected onto the Steering Committee. What national investment agencies have proved during the pandemic is that we can be resilient and transform quickly. We must now be ready to seize new opportunities, as well as tackle the challenges presented by the pandemic, and I believe that strengthening our ties through WAIPA is essential to make this happen.”
During the conference, Invest India was elected as the new President, taking over from FDI Dubai, and Egypt’s IPA re-elected to the Vice-Presidency position. Other new members of the Steering Committee include the IPAs of Kuwait, Finland, Costa Rica, Korea and Azerbaijan.
More information is available online: https://www.investcyprus.org.cy/.