The Minister of Finance, Harris Georgiades, signed today, on behalf of the Republic of Cyprus, the Memorandum of Understanding for the organization in Cyprus of the 26th Annual General Meeting of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Business Forum entitled “Targeting Green and Inclusive Growth: Meeting Regional and Global Challenges”, on 9 – 11 May 2017. On behalf of the EBRD, the MoU was signed by its Secretary General, Enzo Quattrociocche. The signing ceremony took place at the Ministry of Finance and was attended by Finance Ministry and EBRD officials as well as journalists.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, the Minister of Finance said the Annual Meeting of the EBRD will be a high level event, “in fact the first ever such meeting of an international financial institution to take place in Cyprus”.
“For Cyprus, the Annual Meeting is a unique opportunity to present itself as an attractive, safe and stable jurisdiction to an international audience, as a country which has achieved a remarkable economic recovery and which now offers excellent business and investment opportunities across the sectors”, Georgiades pointed out.
He added that “more than anything, it will be for us an opportunity to express our appreciation and gratitude to the EBRD for its significant contribution in the reform and recovery of our economy”, noting that since 2014, and responding immediately to Cyprus’ request, “the EBRD has set up a local office in Cyprus and has invested so far 220 million euros, including through a much needed equity participation in two banks, a successful trade-finance facility, financing of shipping companies and also financing of five photovoltaic renewable energy projects”.
In addition, the Minister conveyed Cyprus’ gratitude for the EBRD’s readiness to offer support in case of a solution of the Cyprus problem and to assist in the effort for the reconstruction and smooth re-integration of the economy.
Lastly, Georgiades expressed hope that through its Annual Meeting the EBRD “will be able to determine its next steps and way forward, in a manner which will enable the bank to continue playing such a constructive and pivotal role in the direction of supporting economic growth and development. Cyprus, as a founding shareholder and member of the bank, is particularly keen to see a further broadening of EBRD operations in the Eastern Mediterranean Region”.
For his part, EBRD Secretary General Quattrociocche said the conference “will offer the opportunity to demonstrate to representatives of 67 shareholder countries and up to 2,000 participants from governments, businesses, civil society and media the attractiveness of the island as a place for business, commerce and trade.”
Praising the Cypriot authorities’ hard work and courage in pursuing painful, yet necessary economic reforms, Quattrociocche noted that “holding our Annual Meeting will be recognition of the achievements by the Government and the people of the island. It will also be a demonstration of the added value the EBRD and its commitment to Cyprus can bring.”
The Annual Meeting, he further said, will provide an opportunity to promote the role of Cyprus in the region, “where it is an active participant of intensifying regional cooperation and where it also contributes to regional stability and reconciliation”.
Moreover, conveying a message of encouragement for the ongoing process to find a settlement to the Cyprus problem, the EBRD Secretary General said “the reunification of the island is expected to offer a much needed boost to growth and development as political reconciliation will create attractive opportunities for investors”. He also said the bank’s presence on the island “is an affirmation of our commitment to Cyprus and our readiness to support efforts to bolster its economic development for the benefit of all communities of the island”./IBNA