Foreign firms want schools, housing

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Foreign investors in Cyprus told President Nikos Christodoulides the government must address infrastructure shortcomings that hinder their business plans for the island.

Investors were brought together during a roundtable discussion organised by Invest Cyprus, the state agency spearheading efforts to attract foreign companies, and presided by President Nikos Christodoulides at the Presidential Palace.

About 30 investors and foreign companies active in the ICT sector, finance, leisure, education, real estate, and shipping, with direct investments or moved their headquarters to Cyprus, participated in Thursday’s event.

In comments to the news site Stockwatch, Invest Cyprus’ chair Evgenios Evgeniou said that while investors acknowledge the support they received from the government, they highlighted critical problems that hinder their business plans.

President Christodoulides heard investors complain about the inadequate number of English-speaking schools catering to the needs of employees’ children moving to Cyprus.

“At the same time, there is a housing shortage, as companies reported that they have difficulty finding their employees a place to stay,” said Evgeniou.

Investors also highlighted issues related to securing a permanent residence visa, pointing out that Cyprus’ inclusion in the Schengen information system will facilitate mobility within Europe.

According to recent reports, the Republic of Cyprus will have access to the Schengen Information System (SIS) from July 25.

During the meeting, investors stressed the importance of improving Cyprus’ tarnished reputation following the Citizenship for Investment Scheme and sanctions imposed on Cypriot financial fixers following sanctions on Russia.

President Christodoulides took note of the obstacles and challenges foreign investors face and will meet them again in the coming months.

The event was attended by more than 20 foreign investors and companies that have made direct investments or relocated their headquarters to Cyprus.

“During the discussion, the President emphasised the importance the government attaches to investors operating in the country, whom he considers as partners in the effort to strengthen the role of Cyprus as an international business centre,” a Presidency statement said.