The Cypriot government organized yesterday a special event at the Presidential Palace, in the presence of four co-responsible ministers, to present to the business community its new strategy for attracting and facilitating the expansion of foreign companies in Cyprus, focusing on facilitating the procedures for attracting in the fields of technology, innovation, shipping, research and development. The new regulations were announced in detail on October 15, following a decision of the Ministerial Conference and were presented to “F” the next day, in an extensive report (“Fast track procedures and tax exemptions for new investments”).
It is possible that the ministers who attended yesterday's round table discussion (K. Petridis, N. Pileidou, N. Nouris, K. Kokkinos) were surprised by the public report on the problems and requests of foreign investors and businessmen, some of whom spoke openly. according to the news broadcast by KYPE, not only for time-consuming procedures but also for racist behaviors by officials of competent services or for inhuman behaviors of government services!
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According to KYPE, an Indian businessman (whose name is not mentioned), who said that he has been working in Cyprus since 1989, spoke of inhuman behavior in many government offices, said that they should carefully choose their words for the people of another and expressed the hope that they could better deal with a computer “since dealing with some human beings in these offices is really inhuman”.
He said that two months ago 160 calls were made in two weeks for a very simple matter to the Department of Population and Immigration to make an appointment, which they failed to do and they had to pay 200 euros to a mediator they found … across the street and the issue was settled in one day! “We came because many of us fell in love with the island, the nature of the people, the cultural heritage and the environment,” he said, noting that he has now relocated to Norway.
He also expressed his great disappointment with the destruction of the environment in Cyprus, the forest fires, the destruction of the coastline and the uncontrolled traffic problem, noting that “it seems that the municipalities are absent, it seems that the government is indifferent”.
– According to KYPE, Hamza Afifi, Public Relations Manager of BrainRocket, said that during the operation of the company they faced challenges especially with the immigration department and added that the (new) fast process will help the company to meet its needs. “When our people go to make an appointment in Limassol with the Immigration Department it takes about two months, while if we had a quick process it would be very useful to attract talent from non-EU countries,” he said.
– Arthur Mamedov, CEO of The Soul Publishing, a Limassol-based company with 400 employees, three-quarters of whom are local recruits, spoke of a “fundamental improvement”. However, he also referred to the problems related to immigration, as the company “buys talents all over the world” noting that the talents will not only look at the salary but will look at how a country would help them settle and the path to citizenship.
– Prabha Jha, Managing Director of MSCH Shipmanagement Group, welcomed the new steps taken, which allow long-term work permits, family reunification and allow spouses to work. “These are steps in the right direction,” he said, expressing hope that the ministers' vision “will reach the last person working in the Immigration Department and any other departments.”