The Minister of Energy, Trade and Industry Natasa Pileidou stated on Monday that in order to face the huge challenges facing us for a restart of the economy, a package has been formed with well-thought-out policies and measures for the recovery of entrepreneurship.
Presenting in a press conference the new commercial policy of the Ministry, Ms. Pileidou said that “with targeted measures and policies we are moving towards the desired, sustainable economic growth in the post-pandemic era. 2021 is a year of reorganization”.
The Ministry, he continued, is at the forefront, ready to implement policies that will strengthen the business ecosystem.
“A joint effort to get our companies back on their feet,” said the Minister.
New sponsorship plans
According to a statement from the Ministry of Commerce, sponsorship projects, which will be co-financed by European funds, are an important tool for strengthening businesses.
“If our proposals submitted to the EU are approved, a total of 400 million euros will be allocated to subsidize entrepreneurship and green energy, directly and indirectly, in the programming period 2021-2027. An amount four times higher than in the previous seven years. Our aim is for the funds that will be allocated to companies to be invested in sectors with high added value, which will strengthen their competitiveness in the international market, with emphasis on green energy, the circular economy, partnerships, digital transformation and the creation of innovative products and services “, stressed Ms. Pileidou, announcing the announcement of three new de minimis sponsorship plans for 2021, amounting to 2 million euros, for the participation of Cypriot companies in exhibitions in Cyprus and abroad.
He added that the first co-financed project to boost the competitiveness of the manufacturing sector will be announced on February 9th. It is estimated that the announcement will provide approvals of 25m euros, out of a total budget of 50m euros for the seven years.
Other plans to support entrepreneurship, but also of citizens, will follow, such as the plan for the energy upgrade of homes that will be announced, as Mrs. Pileidou announced on March 9th. The estimated amount for this project will be € 30 million for the first call, out of a total budget of € 70 million for the seven years.
A total of more than € 90 million will be announced in 2021, including the New Entrepreneurship Encouragement Plan (including Youth and Women Entrepreneurship), the Wine Investment Plan, the Agricultural Processing Plan and the Digital Business Upgrade Plan. . The effort is to announce within the year and the plan of energy upgrade in companies.
Other measures promoted
Enumerating a number of other measures to support the business community, the Minister referred to the creation of a business support center, as an evolution of the Unique Contact Point operating at the Ministry of Commerce, the reorganization of the Companies Office with the aim of creating a modern and effective service. full implementation of the Insolvency Framework and the institutionalization of the household industry as a branch of the secondary sector of the economy.
Six companies in the mechanism
Regarding the Rapid Licensing Mechanism, which has been operating in recent months at the Ministry of Commerce with the aim of quickly and efficiently serving requests from existing or new companies of foreign interests, to operate in our country, Ms. Pileidou said that six foreign companies have already joined mechanism, while so far a total of around 30 companies have shown interest in joining.
The new trade policy
Moreover, as the Minister stressed, “in order to strengthen the business ecosystem on which businesses will rely so that they can evolve, we are promoting other actions, such as our new trade policy.”
On the same subject, the Director of the Trade Service, Panagiota Patsali, said that the new trade policy aims to intensify efforts to promote Cypriot products and services abroad, and invited companies to participate in international exhibitions, receiving financial support through of the plans of the Ministry of Commerce, in order to identify the significant export prospects that exist.
Ms. Patsali stressed that the course of Cypriot exports is upward and this is proven by the numbers.
“In the period 2015-2019, domestic exports of products increased by 56%, while the course of exports of services was also upward. Even during the pandemic, our main export products such as halloumi and medicines increased by 20% between January and October 2020.
We believe, he added, “that by improving the competitiveness of Cypriot products and services, but also the extroversion of companies, the prospects are even greater. That is why we, as a Service, are reorganizing and increasing speed, with the ultimate goal of strengthening the export potential of our country “.
“Our Ministry”, added Ms. Patsali, “will strengthen the extroversion of Cypriot products by upgrading on the one hand the specialized Export Helpdesk service, which has been operating at the Ministry for the last five years and brings Cypriot companies in contact with potential foreign buyers, and on the other hand by promoting the creation of a national identity 'made in Cyprus' “.
Other reforms he mentioned include the design of a halloumi strategy to enhance its distinctiveness as an authentic Cypriot product and the creation of an export coaching plan to provide business consulting services by specialist consultants.
An effort is also underway to intensify promotions for Cypriot wine and the command, in collaboration with Cypriot winemakers.
He pointed out that the Trade Service has a key role in implementing the strategy for economic diplomacy promoted in cooperation with the Foreign Ministry and other agencies, with the aim of boosting exports of goods and services for the benefit of business and the economy.
Sponsorship schemes for participation in exhibitions
Presenting the sponsorship plans of the Ministry of Energy for private participation in trade fairs, the official of the Trade Service, Vassilis Sergiou, invited the companies to explore the opportunities that exist abroad for the promotion of Cypriot products and services.
The project opened today, February 1st, and will accept applications until March 10th, for private participation in trade fairs that will take place throughout 2021.
Who are they for?
The three de minimis sponsorship projects are addressed to: Cypriot companies active in the fields of processing and / or marketing of industrial products, to Cypriot companies active in the fields of processing and / or marketing of agricultural products and to Cypriot companies providing services.
Due to the special circumstances brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is noted that this year, in all the above projects, provision was made for a grant to participate in online and virtual trade fairs (online & virtual trade fairs) organized abroad.
For the past four years they have benefited from sponsorship schemes to participate in exhibitions of more than 300 beneficiaries.
“Our goal as the Ministry of Commerce is to increase the participation of companies in our plans”, concluded Mr. Sergiou.
Philenews / ΚΥΠΕ