The adoption of the New Strategy for Attracting Business and Talent has led to an impressive increase in interest from foreign companies to establish their presence in Cyprus, said Interior Minister Nikos Nouris, noting that 5,475 applications were submitted in 2021, while by August 2022 the number of applications reached 7,883.
Nouris, who was speaking during the VIII Business Conference in Limassol, said the initiatives, on the part of the ministry and the government, "create new opportunities for both existing and new businesses that intend to relocate to Cyprus".
Presenting briefly the laws and regulations that make it easier for foreign businesses to set up in Cyprus, employing staff from third countries, accompanied by their families, Mr. Nouris said the aim is to enable businesses to better cope "with this new reality created by the pandemic and the recent effects of the economic crisis".
In particular, he explained that the incentives that have been given by the Ministry of Interior fall under the New Strategy for Attracting Business and Talent, the New Development Licensing Policy and the New Licensing and Local Plans Policy. He assured that "the Government's efforts to improve the economic and business climate are systematic and continuous".
Mr. Nouris referred to the Mechanism that came into force in 2020 for the rapid establishment of businesses in Cyprus, which evolved in 2022 into the Business Facilitation Unit under the Ministry of Energy, Trade and Industry. He also noted the contribution of the revised policy on foreigners arriving in the country in the context of business activity, facilitating the relocation of third-country nationals and their family members, as well as allowing the employment of spouses.
He also explained that by the end of 2026, existing foreign interest companies will be able to employ workers from third countries without any limitation on numbers, while from 2027, the maximum number of such employees will be 70% of the total number of employees of the company.
"The adoption of the New Strategy has led to a dramatic increase in interest from foreign companies to establish themselves in Cyprus," Nouris said, adding that in 2021, 5475 applications were submitted, while by August 2022, the number of applications reached 7883. He said that 4242 applications to settle families linked to foreign businesses in Cyprus were submitted in 2021, while this number reached 4524 applications in the first eight months of 2022.
Mr. Nouris also referred to the measure of granting special visas for Digital Nomads, saying that there was also increased interest in 2022, with 127 applications from third-country nationals by August, which were approved. Initially, it was decided to grant this special visa to 100 people, a number that was revised to 500 due to the increased interest. The visa is granted for one year and there is a possibility of renewal for two more, the Minister explained.
Finally, Nouris referred to the response to the regulation for electronic submission of applications for planning permits, saying that 4,080 applications were submitted, of which 3,327 were approved, or 82%. He explained that through this process, applications relating to one or two residential developments on approved plots can be approved, even within 10 days, adding that from September 15 this arrangement was extended to cover more complex developments. He expressed the hope that by the end of the year the Parliament would also approve the bill to facilitate strategic investments worth more than 20 million euros.
[This article was translated from its Greek original]