Jan 25, 2017
The Cyprus Ministry of Finance and the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) signed on Tuesday, January 24, a memorandum of understanding on the EBRD Business Forum and the Board of Governors Annual Meeting to be held in Nicosia on May 9-11.. The meeting will be attracting more than 1.500 participants from over 65 countries, bringing together policy-makers, senior businesspeople and investors from around the globe for three days of networking, discussion and debate on various economic, political and social issues of interest.
The MoU was signed by Finance Minister Harris Georgiades and EBRD Secretary General Enzo Quattrocioncche, according to Cyprus News Agency. Both Georgiades and Quattrocioncche praised the AM`s significance, an organisation that registered record investments in 2016 totalling €9.4 billion.
The MoU sets out responsibilities, division of labour and scope of cooperation. The Annual Meeting will bring together representatives of the 67 shareholder countries and up to 2000 participants from governments, businesses, civil society and media.
“For Cyprus the Annual Meeting is also 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 said addressing the signing ceremony. He added that Cyprus “is particularly keen to see a further broadening of EBRD operations in the Eastern Mediterranean Region.”
Recalling that the EBRD began operations in Cyprus in 2014 following the outbreak of a severe financial crisis, Georgiades said that to date the Bank has invested almost €220 million in equity participation in two banks, a successful trade-finance facility, financing of shipping companies and also financing five photovoltaic renewable energy projects. “But more than anything, (the hosting of the Annual Meeting) 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,” Georgiades concluded.
On his part, Quattrocioncche said the coming Annual Meeting may be more important than ever this year as the world is looking at Cyprus and hoping for substantial progress in the process of reconciliation and reunification. “The EBRD Annual Meeting will provide a widely recognised and noticed platform to present the achievements and the potential of the island,” he added.
THE EBRD official also highlighted the efforts of the government to bring about economic recovery following the 2013 financial crisis. “Today we are very pleased that Cyprus has returned to growth and to see how the hard work of the authorities and its courage in pursuing painful, yet necessary reforms is bringing results. Holding our Annual Meeting will be recognition of the achievements by the Government and the people of the island,” he said, noting “it will also be a demonstration of the added value the EBRD and its commitment to Cyprus can bring.”
He pointed out that the EBRD summit takes place at a time when globalisation comes under scrutiny. “We believe what is needed is not less, but better globalisation sharing,” Quattrocioncche concluded.