Current Affairs category powered by

Government's priority is to safeguard the country's credibility, President says

Cyprus President Nikos Christodoulides described the safeguarding of the credibility and reputation of Cyprus as a financial centre as a sine qua non for this government and a top priority, pointing out that the government sees the developments of the last few weeks in relation to the US and British sanctions on individuals and legal entities as an opportunity to take concrete actions always in close cooperation with its partners and the relevant national supervisory bodies.

Addressing an event organised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW) to mark 30 years of Cyprus' membership of the institution, held at the residence of the British High Commissioner and referring to the issue of sanctions, President Christodoulides referred to a development that hinders the reputation of the country and an additional challenge that must be addressed collectively.

"This issue is a top priority for my government" he stressed and assured that from the very first moment, all necessary actions are being taken, in cooperation with all national supervisory bodies, including the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Cyprus, as well as the UK and US Authorities, to fully restore Cyprus' credibility.

A model state

In the context of his address, the President reiterated his vision to make Cyprus a model state, with favourable conditions for attracting investment and promoting entrepreneurship, a reliable, business and financial centre, free from the mistakes of the past and a social, fair state that ensures a high standard of living for its citizens.

He spoke of a country that can take determined, bold steps forward, utilising the potential of technology. "A country that innovates and sets the bar high for the digital and green transition. A country that can respond to global geopolitical, economic and other challenges quickly and efficiently."

He also explained that to achieve this vision, the government has developed and is implementing a Governance Programme that includes specific interventions and actions, including a five-year economic plan as part of the long-term strategy, Vision 2035.

He stressed that "Vision 2035" is a key axis of the government's policies, through which it aims to expand and diversify the productive base of our economy, with the overarching aim of supporting the traditional sectors of the economy, so that they become more dynamic and resilient and at the same time encourage the development of emerging sectors.

In this context, President Christodoulides assured that the Government will continue on the path of implementing important reforms, such as the reforms in the public sector, the justice and local government, which, he said, directly affect the daily operation of businesses. At the same time, he added, " we are working on actions to support businesses for digital and green investments and for research and innovation, utilising European funding opportunities".

Tax reform

He also noted that another important priority is the reform and modernisation of the tax system, explaining that the main objective here is to enhance Cyprus' competitiveness, reduce the administrative burden for taxpayers and businesses, while ensuring a fairer redistribution of the tax burden and at the same time aligning tax policy with the objectives outlined in the European Green Deal.

The government he added is also focusing on digital transformation by promoting the use of digital technologies and stimulating the digital economy, as well as on the green transition, where investments in renewable energy and renewable energy storage, sustainable transport and energy efficiency will continue. During this transition, he said, "it is important to ensure adequate support for businesses while creating growth opportunities for them."

President Christodoulides then referred to the cultivation and support of Cyprus' human capital, a highly skilled labour force, he said, which is one of our country's most valuable assets. "Therefore, it is imperative that we continue investing in our workforce, by prioritising education, professional development, and continuous learning," he explained.

Positive partnership

Regarding the theme of the event, President Christodoulides noted that the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Cyprus (ICPAC) has had a strong and positive partnership with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales since its inception in 1961. In this context, he made special mention of the ICAEW's 30 years of presence in Cyprus, indicating that "with 130 authorised training employers, 3,000 ICAEW Chartered Accountants and 700 trainees, the profession serves as a vital pillar of support for the Cypriot economy".

He also stressed that in times of complex challenges, cooperation between the public and private sectors is key to achieving real and sustainable progress, noting that the ICAEW has a long-standing partnership with the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Cyprus on issues relating to public finance.

President Christodoulides expressed the view that as trust in institutions has been tested globally, "it is crucial that we uphold the integrity and credibility of our institutions, particularly professional bodies, to ensure the continued service of the public interest", while expressing the belief that the ICAEW, as a trusted professional body, plays a central role in upholding ethical standards, promoting transparency and maintaining the highest levels of professionalism in the "Their dedication to fostering trust is commendable and aligns with our Government's commitment to strengthening institutions for the benefit of society," he said.

Global business centre

The British High Commissioner Irfan Siddiq said that the event marks a special anniversary, 30 years of the delivery of ICEW and the ACA training in Cyprus, three decades of contribution to Cyprus’ role as a global business centre and hub for strong financial management skills in both the private and the public sectors.

He added that accountancy and the wider professional services are a major part of the UK-Cyprus business relationship, a key sector linking companies, cities and people, noting that the majority of Cyprus’ accountants received their professional qualifications in the UK or via UK-affiliated institutions, and expressing gratitude to ICAEW for promoting and showing the attractiveness of UK qualifications in Cyprus.

He concluded that the recent UK and US sanctions designations have caused some concern about the impact on Cyprus’ reputation and the industry, however, he expressed his confidence in the industry and the government’s response led by the President to ensure that the country and the industry come out stronger, "an opportunity to set even higher standards of compliance and regulation and ultimately enhance Cyprus’ attractiveness as a financial and business services hub."

Special place

ICAEW CEO Michael Izza said in his address that Cyprus was the first country outside of the UK in which they offered their globally recognised ACA qualification, marking the beginning of the Institute’s international strategy.

He added that Cyprus has held a very special place in the ICAEW global family as it remains the largest membership in the EU with over 3,000 members and its presence on the island has taken an even more important role since Brexit.

Izza said that ICAEW has also contributed to the development of the national professional body with chartered accountants serving on the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Cyprus’ council and among their staff, adding that the strength of ICAEW to the partnership with ICPAC is testament to the quality and sophistication of the profession in Cyprus, which stands out in the European region and the world and is reflected in Cypriot candidates’ constant excellent examination results.

(Source: CNA)

Read More

payabl.: "What sets us apart is offering an omnichannel solution"
Spooktacular Halloween coming up at Paradox Museum Limassol
Limassol Boat Show 2024 to be held from 23 – 26 May (pics&vid)
Cyprus commended for setting up independent anti-corruption authority
Pafos enhances accessibility to beaches with 3 floating wheelchairs
House President meets French, Israeli, Armenian, and Slovenian counterparts
Emergency preparedness exercise at Larnaka Airport on 2 October
President in Malta for MED9 Summit
Industrial production index records annual increase
Efforts aim to turn Cyprus into technology hub, Deputy Minister says