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Minister of Labour optimistic on growth rate and unemployment reduction targets

The Minister of Labour and Social Insurance, Yannis Panayiotou, notes the importance of a common approach for the development of the economy between the Government and the business community, while expressing his optimism that through rational and balanced policies the targets set for growth rate and the reduction of unemployment will be achieved.

On the afternoon of 22 February, the Minister of Labour attended a three-hour meeting at the Limassol Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), as part of a tour planned with the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry, to exchange views on issues of concern to the members of the Chambers of Commerce of all provinces.

During the meeting, the members of LCCI raised problems they face in the daily functioning of their businesses, with particular reference to the lack of manpower and the time-consuming procedures of the public service.

In a statement to CNA after the meeting, the Labour Minister said that "our country is facing great challenges but important prospects as well."

"In order to be able to take advantage of these prospects, so that our economy continues to grow and our society becomes even more cohesive, two-way communication with the social partners is essential", he added.

He added that "through direct contact with the business world, we see that there is a common approach towards the direction we are moving and that the growth of the economy is facilitated through the more efficient operation of public administration, so that it is faster and of higher quality."

At the same time, he continued, "through dialogue, solutions can be identified that are mutually beneficial, because for society to prosper, the economy must grow and development planning must exploit to the maximum the real potential of the creative forces of our country".

Asked to comment on the problem of labour shortage, Panayiotou said that "our economy is growing at a rate that has already exceeded our demographic potential, so the use of workers from abroad is essential". At the same time, he pointed out that "we must ensure the maximum possible utilization of domestic human resources that are available".

Panayiotou pointed out that according to the estimates of the Ministry of Finance, the growth rate for 2024 is expected to come close to 2.9%, while unemployment, from 6.4% in 2023, is expected to fall to 5.8% for this year.

(Source: CNA)

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