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Energy Minister: The BFU is there for investors from the start until the investment is delivered

The newly-established Business Facilitation Unit (BFU) is there to assist investors from their initial expression of interest all the way up until the investment is delivered and most importantly, it is a one stop shop, Energy Minister George Papanastasiou told a gathering with foreign investors.

He was addressing the “Foreign Investors Dialogue with Government: From feedback to action” at the Presidential Palace, organised by the government and Invest Cyprus, which was a follow-up to the roundtable that was held with investors back in June.

The Energy Minister, who was there with his peers to present all the work that has been done after receiving the investors’ feedback in the previous meeting, started off by pointing out that he was once in the investors’ shoes as he too knows what it’s like trying to facilitate an investment in Cyprus. This, said Papanastasiou, positions him well to help address the issues faced by international investors and improve on the state’s weaknesses.

A very important tool in this effort is the BFU, he stated. “It is just a tool. Behind the tool are people. People that we have at the Energy Ministry who are there to help our investors or potential investors,” he explained.

As he explained, the unit follows up investments from day 1 until they are delivered, offering support to investors in all the steps required to get their investment off the ground.

Papanastasiou said systems can sometimes be too sophisticated and complex for a foreign investor, who in most cases need to employ someone to walk them through the whole process.

“With this system they don’t need to do this,” he pointed out. “They can use this tool to take all the steps. We provide the support that investors need.”

Most importantly, he added, it is a one-stop shop. “You knock on the door of the BFU and the process is being followed all the way until the investment is delivered."

According to the minister, the eligibility criteria for a foreign company to register with the BFU are: Third country nationals owning the majority of the company’s shares; public companies registered at any recognised stock exchange; Cypriot shipping companies; Cypriot high-tech/innovative companies; Cypriot pharmaceutical companies or companies active in the sectors of biogenetics and biotechnology; as well as have appropriate independent offices in Cyprus, separate from residences or other offices and an initial investment of €200,000.

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