Promoting awareness on green growth and making the most of available EU funds to that effect were the focus of a meeting on Wednesday between Environment Commissioner Ioanna Panayiotou and President and Secretary General of the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KEVE) Phidias Pilides and Marios Tsiakis.
In statements after the meeting Pilides said the discussion focused on ways of cooperation so that enterprises, the state and the public in general can proceed with the necessary action in accordance with the acquis communautaire.
“We focused mainly on communication matters so that our members and other interested groups can be informed,” he noted, adding that at a later stage a large awareness raising conference will take place.
Asked if entrepreneurs are interested in green growth considering that there are plenty of EU funds available in that area, he said this is precisely the message that needs to be communicated to businesses, pointing out that green growth does not necessarily involve extra cost but is an area of many opportunities, better prices and export potential.
He said that green growth may also generate more jobs.
On her part Panayiotou said that green growth and blue growth constitute a way out of the crisis and can create new opportunities in business something which is needed now. She stressed the need for cooperation by everyone on the matter.
Green growth in not one-dimensional, she said, adding that it is an aspect which is present in all businesses, in all sectors, even in peoples’ homes.
The KEVE Secretary General welcomed a government announcement for the creation of a mechanism through which small to medium sized companies will have access to financing mainly derived from the European Investment Bank.
Asked to say how businesses will fare in Cyprus in 2014, he said he expects the year to be “a difficult one”. He also expressed confidence in Cypriot businesses and employees, noting that if they continue to work hard they have the ability to return to “a path of growth”.