Cyprus takes strides towards becoming a technology hub
In Blog Cyprus
As part of its efforts to promote Cyprus as an ideal location for international ICT companies, and provide support to existing and potential foreign investors, Invest Cyprus today welcomes the foundation of the Cyprus Tech Association.
A new Cyprus Tech Association was launched in April to provide a platform for all international Information and communications technology (ICT) companies established in Cyprus to promote new opportunities and partnerships, and to provide support to existing and potential foreign investors.
The initiative was spearheaded by Invest Cyprus, which is in the process of framing a holistic policy to develop Cyprus as a technology hub. Chief Executive George Campanellas said: “Cyprus offers enormous potential to ICT companies of all sizes to help them flourish and grow, and the creation of the new association is an exciting new development that will allow all companies to come together under one umbrella to shape the future of the sector in Cyprus.”
Last September, EY was commissioned to make a comprehensive study on bringing new high-tech companies to Cyprus. The results of that project have been brought together with work from the Cyprus Economy & Competitiveness Council, which is itself at work on a 15-year plan for the Cyprus economy. This is an EU-funded project that will provide the next steps in making Cyprus more competitive.
Now Invest Cyprus and the government ministries are at work implementing the plan, which covers a vast range of projects from tax incentives, to improving the offer to skilled workers, to creating a project bank and supporting the development of differentiated projects addressing the needs of these companies.
“Invest Cyprus has three objectives: to attract more high-tech companies to Cyprus with new incentives, to support the existing companies to scale up their operations and to make the best for their employees, and to attract FDI to materialise new real estate projects,” said Campanellas.
At this year’s ICT Conference & Exhibition – Tech Revolution, the biggest technology-related event in Cyprus, held at the Hilton Nicosia on 2 June, Deputy Minister of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy Kyriakos Kokkinos said: “We intend to seize the opportunity that arose due to the pandemic and to use the funds provided by the EU, under the Fund for Reconstruction and Recovery, to make Cyprus a technology hub for the eastern Mediterranean region.”
Kokkinos said that this was an ambitious goal through which €283 million was to be raised for specific projects related to the technological upgrade of Cyprus. A further €350 million is also to be allocated for digital technology projects that have already been announced. Implementation of these projects was scheduled to begin in the second half of 2021 and to be completed in 2026.
“Cyprus has to do much more in making tech workers feel at home,” said Kokkinos. “We are reviewing the immigration regime for highly skilled workers, including amendment of the Blue Visa legislation, giving access to the local labour market to spouses and introducing a naturalisation path for the highly skilled workers.”
“These are necessary to help us attract new companies. So we expect them to come up with new projects that include large-scale office spaces, corporate residences, projects that follow the trends that are at work in other countries. We are looking at differentiated demand for office space and residential properties in line with the needs of these international ICT companies and their employees.”