Which growth model can foster entrepreneurship? MILLWOOD KANE INTERNATIONAL
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On Wednesday 14th November 2018, the second meeting for the Citizens Dialogue participation with a specially selected panel of debaters, took place at the EU House, Nicosia.

The welcome speech was given by Mr. Lerotheos Papadopoulos, Head of the European Commission Representation in Cyprus, who reiterated what Europe was aiming to achieve.

The Investment Plan for Europe (Juncker Plan), has three objectives: to remove obstacles to investment; to provide visibility and technical assistance to investment projects; and to make smarter use of financial resources.

With these in mind, the plan is made up of three pillars:

1. The European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), which provides an EU guarantee to mobilise private investment. The Commission works together with its strategic partner, the European Investment Bank (EIB) Group

2. The European Investment Advisory Hub and the European Investment Project Portal which provide technical assistance and greater visibility of investment opportunities, thereby helping proposed investment projects become a reality. The Hub is a joint venture with the EIB Group.

3. Improving the business environment by removing regulatory barriers to investment both nationally and at EU level.

Keynote Speaker:

Mr Harris Georgiades, Minister of Finance

Debaters:

Mr Micheal Antoniou, Director-General of Employers and Industrialists Federation

Mr Sofronis Clerides, Professor, Head of Department of Economics, University of Cyprus

Ms Melina Skouridou, Analyst, Moodys’s Investor Service

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Mr Harris Georgiades, began the meeting, by giving a small speech on the current financial situation of Cyprus. He confirmed that Cyprus is in no doubt, out of crisis level, and is no longer going through the catch up phase, 2018 is now showing true growth. Mr Georgiades stated that the most important factor, for any country to grow is ‘trust’ by the investors, in all sectors, from property projects, to government offices, service sector and in the financial sector.

Mr Micheal Antoniou, pointed out that from the view of business, doing business in Cyprus has progressed but there is still work to be done to make the process simpler and quicker. There is also a great need for further investments, especially in Renewable energy in transport. Mr Antoniou informed the audience that Cyprus already possess the largest cement and aluminum manufacturers and distributers in Europe.

Mr Sofronis Clerides, concentrated in what type of investments are now needed in Cyprus. Even though there are large projects at present, which Cyprus requires to continue to grow, the small businesses must not be forgotten, as these will give more stability. The transition of students to jobs is also a factor, which is being researched at the moment.

Ms Melina Skouridou, was the final speaker who spoke on the banking system. The changes which have occurred in this sector have been extensive, with the results making the banking system more stable.

There followed a Q & A session, with two main points standing out.

How is Cyprus different now from pre-crisis? The answer given by the panel is that the government finances are now more balanced, and secondly there is a structured banking system.

What is Cyprus aiming for? Cyprus is looking for more transparency and diversification.

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