We need a plan!

“Everything flows”, was once said by the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus. How true he has been ever since.

The above phrase is so relevant for our country, especially these days where it has been put, once again, under the spotlight of international media, obviously not for a positive cause.

We often raise the claim that both the profession, the society, the business community and the government needed to adapt to the prevailing circumstances and to adopt the contemporary and upcoming demands. Apparently, this has not happened to the desired extent yet! Many reasons could be projected to support that, including, the possibility that we believe such crises will not touch upon us, or that we will find a way out eventually, or because we don’t read well what’s coming up, or just because we became too complacent or even arrogant…

Anyway, whichever the reason may be, Cyprus economic framework, governmental system and professional community stand before another dire situation. The global environment underwent many changes during the last years, with the areas of fighting corruption and tax abuses, the promotion of transparency and the adoption of stricter compliance regulation surging. The geopolitical landscape constantly fluctuates, requiring thus everybody to be alert and adaptive all the time. Traditional business models are redundant and, therefore, those still remaining nostalgic to what they knew in the 80’s and 90’s are fundamentally obsolete.

So, what should we do then? For me, the answer is straightforward: We need a plan!

My humble suggestion is for the government, the parliament, the political and business establishment, the economy and community stakeholders to group together and have an open and honest consultation between them about the way forward for the country.

We need to sit down, do our blueprint work, set the new goals and priorities which should be aligned to today’s international commandments, so as to draft the revised and advanced business and economic model for Cyprus.

We need a strategic plan, with long term vision, which should reflect the objectives, goals and priorities of the country as a whole, broken down into the various component sectors.

We need a well-structured plan, clearly specifying who has ownership and of what, with identifiable deliverables, actions, activities and processes, containing the appropriate resources, means and other necessary tools for its implementation.

We need a well-articulated plan, so as to make sure it reaches the ears and heart of the whole population, engaging them as co-actors in its application.

We need a plan that highlights accountability and sets thresholds for responsibility and measurable outcomes.

We need a plan that will be not based on vague declarations and populism, but, to the contrary, on solemn commitment and devotion by all stakeholders.

We need a plan that instils confidence and trust, adds value and prospect to the citizen, to the businesses, to the people in Cyprus and who ever else from abroad that looks at Cyprus.

We need a plan that disseminates fairness, meritocracy and a genuine ethical culture, where transparency, altruism and collectivity are inherent constituents.

We need a plan that will be based upon the rule of law, combating bureaucracy, corruption and kleptocracy, that will be well accepted and convincing to everybody out there.

We need a plan that promotes sustainability, both environmental, economic and human, focusing on long term prosperity.

I do acknowledge that my suggestions above may sound too ideal or even utopic, nevertheless, we surely need a new plan, for the day after, for the society, for the economy, for the new generation, for the future, for hope… and we need it fast!

Kyriacos Iordanou, General Manager, The Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Cyprus

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