The sabre-rattling by rival forces seeking regional hegemony in the Middle East could hurt our already fragile tourism industry, despite assurances from the likes of Britain, the U.S. and Russia, haggling over who has a greater say on Syria.
With the economy desperately trying to recover from the aftermath of the austerity-linked bailout, Cyprus must rebuild a reputation of trust and transparency.
One of the sectors that promises to get us out of dire straits is the property industry where investor/buyers from non-EU states can benefit from the new and accelerated procedure for obtaining a Permanent Residence Permit (PRP).
This has been very attractive to Chinese buyers, who, although are unseen in Paphos that accounts for 80% of all their purchases, have so far pumped about 700 mln euros, including the Dolphin/Aristo mega-resort project near Ha Potami.
PRPs are provided for purchases of 300,000 euros or more and developers and real estate agents alike should be extra careful not to fool Chinese buyers by flogging an apartment for exactly 300,000 euros (plus VAT), whereas a similar-sized flat in the same block might go for 180,000 or less.
Cyprus is still suffering from the amateurish way government officials have dealt with the title deeds scam, so let’s make sure we don’t lose the Chinese investors, who are now the most valuable travellers having spent a record $102 bln on international tourism last year.
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