COVID19: Foreign investors pleased with crisis response

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Over 92% of foreign investors are satisfied with measures taken by Cyprus to tackle the coronavirus pandemic and to manage the crisis it created.

According to the results of a survey among foreign investors participating in an online discussion on Cyprus’ response to the pandemic, the vast majority are pleased with the government’s response to the crisis.

The survey conducted by the Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency (Invest Cyprus) showed that 92.2% of investors were satisfied with how authorities responded to the deadly COVID-19 outbreak.

According to the survey, 56.9% of investors said they were very satisfied with the measures taken by the government to deal with the pandemic, 35.3% said they were satisfied, 5.9% said they were dissatisfied, and 2% very dissatisfied.

When asked about the degree of satisfaction by service providers (lawyers, accountants, bankers) and their response to ensure the continuity of the operation of each company, 29.8% said they were very satisfied, 59.6% satisfied, 8.5% said they were dissatisfied, while 2.1% were very dissatisfied.

When asked about the degree of satisfaction with the information provided about the measures and instructions given to deal with the pandemic, 53.7% said they were very satisfied, 37% satisfied, while 9.3% said they were dissatisfied.

Foreign investors in Cyprus, were not, however, very optimistic over the prospects of seeing their activities reach levels prior to the crisis within the current year.

In a question of when they expect their business activities to fully recover from the crisis just 29.4% estimated that this will happen within 2020, 35.3% estimated this will happen in the first half of 2021, 27.5% estimated it will happen in the second half of 2021, while 7.8% estimated that this would happen later.

According to an Invest Cyprus, speaking in the online discussion, Minister of Finance Constantinos Petrides thanked the investors for their vote of confidence and sent a message of optimism that the country will see a speedy recovery.

“We are optimistic that with the measures we have taken, we will be able to exit the crisis,” said Petrides.

Explaining the government’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, he said the government responded swiftly to support businesses and the economy.

He said that the government support packages equal 5.5% of GDP.

Petrides also referred to a €2 bln State Guarantee Plan to boost liquidity in businesses through bank loans.

He was confident that the plan would get the green light from parliament in the coming days.

The scheme has been before the House for the past two weeks, but MPs are concerned over how the scheme will be monitored.

Despite the uncertainty prevailing internationally, Petrides stressed that forecasts for Cyprus are much better than for other EU countries, referring to Fitch rating agency predicting the economy will lose 5-7% of its GDP.

He also said initial forecasts could be revised as Cyprus will relax restrictive measures earlier than originally estimated due to the quick response measures.