Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism Minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis told business leaders in Paphos that the government was aware of the cash-flow problem in the economy and that it was trying to cut down on red tape as part of a widetr plan to introduce universal efficiencies and become mo0re competitive.
He told the annual meeting of the Paphos Chamber of Commerce and Industry that there was an urgency to modernise Cypriot businesses, in order for them to become competitive and survive, but realised that the biggest problems were lack of cash, low demand and bureaucracy, and that the government was making efforts to improve the situation.
He also referred to the new geostrategic role of Cyprus in the eastern Mediterranean, after the discovery of hydrocarbon deposits in the offshore exclusive economic zone, noting that “we are working intensely to further improve our good relations with neighbouring countries, and our main priority is to begin exploratory drilling by ENI/KOGAS sooner than scheduled”.
The plan is for the Italian-Korean joint venture to embark on exploratory work, possibly as soon as August.
“At the same time, however, we are prepared for all eventualities and all alternatives, and we are promoting, as we should, various medium-term prospects for investments across the hydrocarbon industry,” he said.
Referring to the economy, Lakkotrypis said it was necessary to utilise current funding opportunities, adding that a new development strategy was in the pipeline, aiming at making the state more business-friendly.
This strategy, he said, would include a unified development plan and the adoption of good international practices and substantive reforms, with an aim to address complex bureaucracy and simplify the existing regulating and legislative framework for setting up and operating businesses.
Lakkotrypis also referred to the government’s policy and measures to boost business through various schemes and programmes, adding that efforts were continuing to globalise businesses.
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