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President of ICPAC: Challenges Still Lie Ahead

President of ICPAC: Challenges Still Lie Ahead

Marios M. Skandalis, Director of the Group Compliance Division at Bank of Cyprus Group, and President of ICPAC, spoke at the 9th Nicosia Economic Congress on April 18, about the importance of enhancing the collaboration between the private and public sector in order to infuse a multiplier factor into the economy and pointed out the challenges which still lie ahead.

“Further to the remediation of the banking sector, where significant and brave decisions have been taken that set the viability of this economy’s sector on a stronger foundation, the prime challenge is the overall sustainability and credibility of the growing course of the economy,” Skandalis noted.

He added that critical reforms that need to be introduced include judicial reforms to increase the efficiency of courts and the overall judicial system and accelerate enforcement of commercial claims to help address the legacy of the crisis. “Reforms of the civil procedure code and introduction of the e-justice system should be completed. Despite some progress with the issuance and transfer of property titles, a substantial backlog unfortunately still remains so its practical clearance should be accelerated,” he said.

According to Marios Skandalis, continuing efforts to mitigate financial crime risks still remains a challenge “and our country’s reputation continues to receive hits primarily from our competitors but also from jurisdictions that do not really comprehend the significant transformation Cyprus went through over the last few years.” He added that it is important to focus the attention of all stakeholders in the present and demonstrate our solid commitment to remain vigilant in the future and always ahead of any anti-financial crime developments.

“Another ongoing challenge,” he went on to say, “is the continuous improvement of our country’s competitiveness through the provision of revolutionary financial services and products through an effective, credible and reliable legal and operational framework.” He further emphasised the necessity of a credible legal and operational framework as most of the times we pursue brilliant ideas but at the end, our legal and operational framework fail in supporting or facilitating an effective and efficient delivery of these ideas.

Another key challenge pointed out by Skandalis, is the necessary careful diplomatic tactics we need to engage in for the most beneficial exploitation of the hydrocarbon reserves, a development which will definitely enhance our economy’s size and characteristics.

“Building upon the necessary reforms and competitiveness, the adoption and implementation of a digitized economy is a crucial bet we need to win. Digital transformation is not an option, but the only way forward,” he concluded.



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