Foreign direct investment is of paramount importance for the development of any economy, even more so for a relatively small economy with limited natural resources and capital, like that of Cyprus. Especially during the current recession brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, FDI may spark economic recovery and help transform the Cypriot economy.
The first EY Attractiveness Survey Cyprus 2020, which is part of EY’s broader FDI Attractiveness program, seeks to explore what drives businesses to invest in particular countries, how investors perceive Cyprus’s comparative strengths and weaknesses as an investment destination and what the government can do to influence their decisions.
We intend to repeat this survey at regular intervals in the coming years as a way to monitor changes in perceptions, and in order to identify policy changes and areas of improvement, allowing us to keep pace with the rapidly evolving business environment.
Cyprus has successfully attracted FDI in the past. This greatly contributed to the rapid development of its economy over the years. The local economy has been largely dependent on three key sectors, namely tourism, real estate and professional services. While participants in this survey acknowledge the predominance of these sectors, which have also traditionally driven FDI interest, they are also indicating alternative investment opportunities. It is indeed clear that Cyprus needs to diversify its economy and attract investment in new sectors that are today driving growth globally, including among others digital economy, clean tech, renewables, supply chain and logistics.
Against a background of global economic pessimism,our survey paints an overall positive picture about Cyprus’s investment attractiveness. If we build on our strengths, act decisively to deal with the obstacles identified by investors and adapt swiftly to the new normal, the investment climate can only improve.
FDI in Europe: COVID-19 triggered a sharp decline in FDI across Europe, but not a complete cutback
In 2019, Europe had one of its strongest years ever in terms of FDI, attracting 6,417 projects in 47 countries. The pandemic on the other hand, led to a sharp decline in the number of planned FDI projects, with 66% of companies reporting a decrease in their investment plans for 2020. Furthermore, one in two businesses participating, view Europe as less attractive in the coming years.