“As we struggle through the current financial and political crisis in region, we should always have in mind that hard times such as these always create an abundance of great investment opportunities,” begins Dr George Mounits, Managing Partner of Delfi Partners. Addressing the annual Investors Show 2015, at Carob Mill in Limassol, Mountis admits that the current economic climate continues to prove challenging. Rising unemployment, negative GDP growth, budget deficits, increased public debt and continuing austerity measures all contribute to the ongoing economic downturn.
Despite this, however, Mountis affirms that “it’s not all bad news.” Relaying the many positive developments of recent months, he explains that the island’s recession has been far milder than initially projected, with marginal growth expected to begin as of 2015. As unemployment begins to stabilise and inflation begins to decrease, the island returns to its long-held status as an attractive vehicle for regional investment. “There are several associated benefits that made the region an attractive investment destination prior to the crisis – all of which are still relevant and even, in some cases, more appealing in the new economic climate,” he clarifies. Citing the island’s location at the crossroads between Europe, Africa and Asia, its strategic alliances with neighbouring states, highly developed infrastructure, business-friendly tax and legal system and sophisticated professional services support, Mountis explains that Cyprus possesses untapped potential for investments. These investment opportunities include both traditional investments, such as real estate, tourism and banking, and alternative investments, including energy, technology and oil and gas. “Cyprus is the largest ship management centre in the EU, with connections to Israel, Egypt, Africa, Asia and other EU countries,” he states emphatically.
Indeed, with more than 1,000 registered vessels, in excess of 140 shipowning and shipmanagement related companies operating on the island, Cyprus’ potential in the maritime arena is unbound.
Investments in private clinics and rehabilitation centres also present attractive opportunities, as the island’s health sector develops.
Cooperation with Israel and other regional players may result in the creation of a new age of specialized medical facilities, resulting – possibly – in medical tourism.
Large-scale developments continue to be appealing to investors as the island’s offering increases, concurrently increasing demand for marina developments, conference centres, casino resorts, science technology parks and luxury leisure resorts.
The sectors of both energy and education offer investment possibilities, particularly should regional cooperation play a role in the development of mutually beneficial projects.
“We have to capitalise on our strategic location – one of our most valuable assets – interact, cooperate with neighbours such as Israel and Egypt,” Mountis concludes.