Nicos Rotos: I call on the government to further promote Cyprus as an investment destination

"Let's find the right ways to once again convince others that Cyprus is an investment destination," the CEO of Rotos Group, Nicos Rotos suggests, underlining that the construction sector is one of the important pillars of our country's economy but is not appreciated by the relevant authorities as much as it should be.

In an interview with InBusinessNews, in the context of "IN Business Forecasting 2024," Rotos expresses the position that the state should respond and directly support the sector, underlining that it should also become more development-friendly.

Noting that developments, especially large ones that bring profit to the state, should include special incentives, both for entrepreneurs and potential buyers, Nicos Rotos states that the creation of such incentives to attract and maintain new investments, the increase of the building factor and the reduction of VAT on land developments are some of the measures that the state should provide to the sector.

According to Rotos, the construction industry, through investors, can bring significant revenue to state coffers, but the right incentives must be found to attract them.

Regarding Rotos Group's plans for 2024, the company's CEO notes that the group will continue its development, both in the student accommodation sector and in the construction sector, while revealing that it is at the licensing stage for a new project, a large development with the concept of a private neighborhood and which will be announced soon.

How do you see the economic environment shaping up in 2024, in light of inflationary pressures, high interest rates and unpredictable ever-changing geopolitical developments?

We left behind 2023 as a year full of surprises and challenges. After the pandemic and where everything had started to return to normal, the war in Ukraine started and the war in Israel followed as two developments that negatively affect the economy, prices, especially for fuel and energy, and which create uncertainty.

At the same time, the increase in inflation and interest rates directly affected all households and contributed to the low growth rate.

In 2024, I believe that at least the first half will develop in the same way and then, based on the forecasts of the European Commission, it is expected to be a year for which moderate optimism should prevail.

Based on the economic indicators for the year, a small GDP growth of 0.4% is expected, along with a decrease in inflation by 1.1% and in unemployment by 0.3%.

For 2024, I expect and hope that interest rates will stabilise and then be reduced by the European Central Bank, so that there can be an increase in the economy and by extension an increase in the construction industry.

What do you consider to be the biggest and most difficult challenges that the Cypriot economy will have to face?

Globally, I would say, and not only for the Cypriot economy, the challenges are the same. Inflation, interest rates, geopolitical developments and the prolonged uncertainty in the energy sector and the higher cost of materials as well as the lack of human resources, are all things that will continue to concern both us but mainly the competent bodies and for which we should find solutions for.

Would you say that taking into account the latest upgrades, Cyprus is now well on its way to development?

Cyprus has been on a development path in recent years, but at some point saturation will occur. The numbers and forecasts for 2024 and 2025 show that we must be prepared and not complacent.

Companies need to be careful with their liquidity and keep debt low so that, if necessary, they can cope and avoid the mistakes of the past.

The construction industry

What do you think will be the course of the sector in which you operate in 2024?

I believe that the course will be at the same level as in 2023, both for the construction sector and in the student housing sector that our group deals with.

What are the biggest industry trends you anticipate in 2024?

I do not expect dramatic changes in our sector.

There will certainly be further technological and digital modernisation, projects with green developments and zero consumption will be preferred, and sustainability will be given even greater importance.

What are the most important problems that are currently plaguing your sector and the solution of which you consider to be a priority in view of the new year?

The construction sector is one of the important pillars of our country's economy and is not appreciated by the relevant authorities as much as it should be. The state should respond and immediately support our industry.

It needs to be made more development-friendly. The licensing stage is the biggest negative factor in our sector. Developments, especially large developments that bring profit to the state, should include special incentives for both entrepreneurs and potential buyers.

The creation of incentives to attract and maintain new investments, the increase of the building factor, the reduction of VAT on land developments are some of the measures that the state should provide to the sector.

If you could ask the government to take specific measures or formulate policies to strengthen your sector, what would they be?

In the last three years there has been an inertia in the provision of incentives.

From time to time, some individual moves are made, but they have not really helped.

Our industry, through investors, can bring significant revenue to government coffers, but we need to find the right incentives to attract them.

We should take advantage of the positives of our country, the sunshine, the excellent living conditions, the education sector that is constantly developing and find the right ways to once again convince others that Cyprus is an investment destination.

Rotos Group 's plans for 2024

What are your organisation's plans/strategy for 2024? Can you tell us specifically about any of your plans?

The group will continue its development both in the student accommodation sector and in the construction sector and will continue its investment plans with people at their centre.

We will continue with large unitary developments, with sustainable architectural design and excellent construction quality, to build neighborhoods that upgrade people's standard of living.

More and more over the years, through the bioclimatic approach, the use of ecological materials, the prudent management of natural resources and the innovation that characterise our buildings, we will ensure timeless value for the buyer.

At this stage we are building the coeo residential complex on Gladstonos Street, next to the linear park which will offer buyers large units of apartments and houses in the centre of Nicosia.

The new housing ecosystem will bring back the forgotten values ​​of the neighbourhood and family coexistence with nature that are so absent from our daily lives. It will soon be synonymous with the most modern trends for luxury housing in Cyprus, creating the next generation of Design Living.

At the same time, we are in the licensing stage for a new project, a large development of the same private neighborhood philosophy that we will soon announce.

What role does technology, such as artificial intelligence, play and what changes is it expected to bring about in your field?

The construction sector has always been and is almost entirely labour-based.

AI & VR technologies will influence the design process but will not be able to replace human labour.

Certainly technology will continue to play an important role in developments both in the field of land development and in other industries and sectors of the economy and I believe that we are lucky to have all the conveniences that are provided to us through it, as long as we are careful and aware there are risks involved.

Technology and modernisation affect our daily life, our professional behaviour and the interaction we have with our staff or customers.

We should be properly trained to use each area of ​​technology correctly and to our advantage.

(Source InBusinessNews)

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