US says Cyprus building foreign investor confidence

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US Ambassador Judy Garber believes Cyprus is moving in the right direction as an investment destination and bilateral ties with Washington.

Garber was a keynote speaker at the “Investment Realized” forum organised by Ernst & Young in Limassol.

During the Forum, the survey on the attractiveness of Cyprus as an investment destination was unveiled.

The Ambassador said that since arriving on the island US and the Republic of Cyprus have made great strides together, focusing on the growing security partnership and economic ties.

She said that even before the energy crisis in Europe, “due to an unprovoked and unjustified war in Ukraine by Russian President Putin”, the interest of major US energy companies in Cyprus stood out.

“Their focus on exploration and development of their licensed blocks in the Republic of Cyprus EEZ remain solid.

“We have also seen increasing interest from US companies in the information, communication, and technology sector.

Garber said that US companies are living the island’s digital transformation efforts towards infrastructure projects, the education sector, banking and financial sectors and the healthcare sector.

“Perhaps the most significant indicator of the growing US and Republic of Cyprus economic partnership was the United States’ selection as the partner of choice for the Republic of Cyprus’s first integrated strategy action plan.

“Our goal is to create a framework to take our bilateral economic relationship to the next level.

Garber said that investors from the US as elsewhere look for predictable, stable environments with insurance that agreements and contracts are honoured and with efficient dispute resolution systems, whether through the courts, mediation or arbitration when sometimes unavoidable disagreement arises.

“The Republic of Cyprus has come a long way in dealing with anticorruption and AML issues making important strides in restoring its reputation.

“Once trust is broken, it is very difficult to restore”.

“The attractiveness survey shows almost a sea-change in the perception here in Cyprus”.

Garber noted that not all foreign investment is desirable.

“The US really welcomes the decision of the Council of Ministers to establish an Investment Screening Mechanism as recommended by the European Commission.

“We believe this step will strengthen the confidence of US investors in Cyprus, and we look forward to sharing lessons learned from our experiences in Investment Screening as Cyprus launches its own new mechanism”.

Digital security

The US Ambassador also noted that the effectiveness of the digital security authority, the national computer security incident response team and cyber security relations would contribute to a more secure business environment in which US companies will feel more comfortable operating and investing.

“We all have to remain vigilant, governments and private sector companies alike”.

Garber said vendors who build and maintain access to 5G have a tremendous responsibility to protect national security, human rights and privacy and Cyprus’ economic and commercial interest.

“The US continues to evocate for Cyprus to carefully weigh its options for creating its 5G infrastructure network, including acquiring services from trusted providers to ensure the security of the entire network and the security of your business.

“Emerging technologies like data science, autonomous technologies, nanotechnology, advanced computing and artificial intelligence are all the future of economic growth and the future of security.

“American National security, Cypriot National security, the security and the stability of the Eastern Mediterranean region are all inseparable linked.”