The dysfunctional state and the bureaucracy may have driven foreign investment out of Cyprus for years, but for a year now, despite the pandemic, the “Rapid Action Mechanism” seems to have managed to overcome the ankylosis, drastically reducing the time companies need and their staff, to operate in our country.
Its success will unlock the country's potential in attracting investment and specialized staff. The business world of Cyprus must use it where and where it can and we would like to see it strengthened to be a model on which, in the future, the service of the citizen will be based.
That is why we chose to highlight in the newspaper “P”, the interview we had on the radio and in the show “Show me the Money” with the Senior Officer of the Ministry of Commerce and head of the “rapid activation mechanism”, Konstantinos Karagiorgis. After all, it is not many times that the state can be “proud” of helping to establish 14 companies and almost 600 employees in Cyprus. “Companies that join the mechanism within 4-6 weeks to be able to establish their staff in Cyprus, while without the mechanism, it would take four to six months,” Mr. Karagiorgis explained to us and immediately gained our interest. Read the main points of the interview or listen to the whole at https://soundcloud.com/politis1076/show-me-the-money-19-07-2022
What is the “Rapid Activity Mechanism” and what does it serve?
Investing in a country is important and is a very important element to make it economically viable. We work to attract companies in Cyprus and through the “mechanism” we want to facilitate the investments that come to Cyprus in order to receive a prompt service of their requests.
Who do you serve? Is it only for those who move their headquarters and offices or is it only for foreigners?
We serve everyone. We can serve a company that will transfer all its activities or that can transfer a branch.
What are the criteria? Can Cypriot companies in Cyprus use your service?
The plan concerns Cypriot and foreign companies. The companies should have a presence in Cyprus with the operation of independent offices. The last 3 of the 5 years to have a turnover of around 500 thousand euros per year and for new businesses should present a five-year plan.
What issues are you called upon to resolve?
We try to secure all the necessary registrations for the establishment of the company in Cyprus. These concern company registration, name approval, registration in the social security register, in the employer register, VAT and income tax, all to be done within a week from the day the company joins the “mechanism”. The second thing we do is to provide information and guidance to secure the necessary operating licenses of the company and facilitate the issuance of residence and employment licenses to individuals from third countries, who will be employed by the companies. Companies that join the mechanism within 4-6 weeks to be able to establish their staff in Cyprus up to 200 people, while without the mechanism, it took 4 to six months. We have examples from companies that in less than five months managed to establish themselves in Cyprus and you can understand what this means for the country's economy in these difficult times.
What more can we expect? The complaints we hear are that we do not give work permits to the employees' comrades.
The immigration department has changed its policy 2 times lately just to fill the gaps you mentioned and now his wife can work as well as settle in Cyprus and his children up to 18 years old. Since last September, when the mechanism has been operating, 14 companies have come to Cyprus and almost 600 employees have been installed, most of them specializing in the IT and communications sectors.
What did the businessmen who took advantage of the “Mechanism” say?
Murex Cyprus representative Ms. Mayssam Youssef, Beirut Center Operations Manager, referring to the company's criteria for landing in Cyprus, spoke about the safe and stable environment, the very good quality of life and the proximity of the company base in Lebanon, which facilitates the movement of executives and employees and their repatriation. Only within five months of the decision to install in Cyprus, he said, the company was able to start work, an achievement attributed to the Mechanism and the excellent cooperation it had with the project management team. Mr. Uri Poliavich, CEO of Brainrocket, part of the OUTONO group of companies, stated that the company came to our country to stay and is now part of the Cypriot economy. OUTONO considers the Mechanism, he added, an important asset of Cyprus for attracting foreign investments. Mr. Antoun Massad, CEO of Cedar Rose International Services, stressed that the Rapid Activity Mechanism came at the right time for the company, which was planning to relocate to another country. Within four months of guidance and support, he stressed, from a group of exceptional professionals, the company managed to settle in Cyprus.
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