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ECONOMY

Skandalis: Cyprus’ Economy is Back on Track

Skandalis: Cyprus’ Economy is Back on Track

The 2nd EU Arab World Summit took place on 9 and 10 November in Athens, with view of providing the most representative and dynamic platform for debating strategies of Euro-Arab cooperation and partnership between the two major economic and political blocs. The European Union and Arab world have throughout the years been sharing a destiny of geographical proximity, economic and political cooperation on many fronts. The two major worlds have a long history of cross-fertilization and human and cultural exchanges that had shaped their heritage and shared history and values. 

Marios Skandalis, President at the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Cyprus, welcomed the attendees of the event, by presenting an informative background on Cyprus’ economy, investment possibilities and international business. Skandalis explained that ‘Cyprus is at the South-Easternmost edge of the EU, remains the bridge that connects Middle East and Europe.’ This can make Cyprus be the conduit for Arab businesses going into Europe, as well as for European companies to extend their operations into the Arab countries. ‘Trade and business activities can be stretched from our small island to the four points of the horizon’ he adds.

 Skandalis also referred to the financial crisis that hit the island back in 2013. ‘The island faced an unprecedented economic crisis which resulted in the implementation of harsh measures, including the shutdown of the 2nd largest bank and a “bail-in” solution for the largest bank in 2013’ Skandalis says.

However, he also explains the ways in which these difficulties were managed, and as a result the crisis was managed at a large extent. ‘Given the hard work of the people and the commitment to return to normal conditions in just three years, the Adjustment Programme with Troika was successfully completed and now the economy of the country is back on track following an upwards path’ he says.

‘Despite the wounds caused by the financial crisis in 2013 and the measures taken within the context of the Adjustment Programme with Troika, the country proved resilient maintaining thus its international business activity. The predicament proved catalytic for a number of areas, such as: Achieving balanced fiscal budgets and controlled expenditure by the government, Improved Banking sector, with better capitalized banks and more robust regulatory framework, Enhanced anti-money laundering and overall compliance practices which comply of course with the EU and other international Directives, and Robust Anti-Financial Crime and Transparency Framework. In order to preserve the reputation and the credibility of the country, we had to walk the extra mile as far as regulation and compliance is concerned. Today Cyprus has adopted one of the toughest anti-money laundering regimes, which without any doubt adds to the credibility of our country’ Skandalis concludes.

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