Cyprus Boosts Investment Appeal with New Fast-Track Strategic Investment Law
A new law fast-tracking ‘strategic investments’ in Cyprus was ratified by the House on Thursday 13 July 2023, with the aim to reinforce Cyprus’s position as an attractive investment destination. The new legislation, initially proposed by the prior government, enjoyed a robust backing, with 34 members of the House voting in favor and 18 opposed.
The national investment promotion agency, Invest Cyprus, lauded the new law, with its Director General, Marios Tannousis, emphasizing its potential to hasten the licensing process for strategic investments through more streamlined procedures.
At the heart of the law is the creation of a unified licensing authority – the Strategic Development Sector. This new body is designed to centralize the issuance of building permits, with the ambitious target of achieving this within a year.
Moreover, the law brings into action a mechanism for categorizing developments as strategic based on specific criteria. Such a classification allows these projects to benefit from an expedited licensing process.
The legislation also introduces a new role, that of a project coordinator, aimed at bridging the gap between applicants and public services. This coordinator will play a crucial role in facilitating the roll-out of projects identified as strategic developments.
To ensure a smooth and efficient process, the law stipulates definite timelines for permit issuance and requires consultations with the relevant stakeholders. It also mandates an environmental consultation by the Department of Environment for the Environmental Authority’s opinion on specific projects.
The legislation is a significant stride towards achieving Invest Cyprus’s long-standing goals of simplified procedures and quicker licensing for strategic investments. The overall objective is to reduce bureaucratic red tape and delays that can adversely affect investments.
With this strategic law in place, Mr Tannousis, Director General of Invest Cyprus, stated in local media that he is optimistic that Invest Cyprus is now more capable than ever to draw reliable investments to Cyprus, thereby spurring economic growth.