SUNDAY, 29 MAR 2020



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Frixos Savvides: Back in Business

Frixos Savvides: Back in Business

Addressing the Cyprus International Business Association’s 21st Annual General Meeting, Frixos Savvides, President of CIBA, outlined his optimism for the future of international businesses in Cyprus, expressing that following a year of great economic improvement, CIBA and its members are definitely back in business. 


The Association’s last AGM, Savvides noted, was held soon after the events of March 2013, following which both members and international business associates remained in Cyprus and supported the subsequent economic recovery. 


“We at CIBA feel that we ought to thank them again and again, and to assure them that all of us are very grateful to them for their support and loyalty which has continued to be there and in some cases enhanced and extended,” he affirmed. 


Since the Association’s last meeting, he continued, positive steps have been taken for the most important sector of the Cyprus economy, the cornerstone of any economy: it’s banking sector.


Two thirds of blocked funds within Bank of Cyprus have been released, with the remaining third expected to be released within the coming months. In addition, the bank has been successfully recapitalised with fresh capital, allowing it to successfully pass the ECB’s recent stress tests. 


“Furthermore, we have heard that Bank of Cyprus shares will be back on the floor of the Cyprus and Greek stock exchange by mid-December 2014,” Frixos explained, commending the progress of the island’s largest lender.


“There is still a lot more to be done, however,” he added, expressing the hope that, should focused efforts continued, the time will come very soon when Cyprus banks will be equipped to lend money to businesses again and be able to recover these loans in due course.


“Economic growth is a must,” Savvides stressed. “We cannot ignore the fact that unemployment is still very high, especially amongst young people who try to seek employment outside Cyprus. Hopefully very soon we will see the exchange controls being lifted and the normal everyday business transactions will become easier and quicker.”


The second major issue, the CIBA President outlined, is bureaucracy or “administrative burden” as it is often referred to, expressing his hope that there shall soon be significant improvements in this area. 


In short, Savvides continued, we have to create a business friendly environment in order to be able to attract new International businesses in Cyprus and make their business routine as straightforward as possible.


“We at CIBA, have one mission, which is very simple and clear: to support our members with their daily needs, to try and assist them in solving their problems, to lobby whenever possible for the help and support we want to extend to our members in particular and to the International business community in general, and to preserve the strong points that Cyprus has to offer.”


These - amongst others - include the Cyprus tax structure and Double Tax Treaty network. It is imperative to preserve and protect this structure, he explained, which has been the foundation of the island’s economic success in the past. 


In addition, “we need to maintain and enhance our hospitality and our positive attitude towards international business people and their families and to show them that we want them to be here with us on our beautiful island.”


Much progress has been achieved in the past year, the Association’s President noted, and Cyprus is many steps closer to achieving its goal of economic recovery. The theme of the 2014 AGM, he continued, should justifiably be “Back in Business”.


“This should be our motto for the year, and we must use our strengths strategically not only to solve our current problems but also to create the basis for a better Cyprus for our children. I have no doubt that in the capable hands of our President and his government we will see better days, for Cyprus and its people.”


“We believe we are in a much better shape than last year, and we can look ahead to better times,” Savvides concluded.


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