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09-10-09Cyprus Investment Seminar - NY

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Cyprus-Why US business leaders need to rethink Cyprus as a business destination
Media event offers rare interview opportunities with top Cyprus officials
New York, NY –Learn why a growing number of US executives consider Cyprus an indispensible gateway to lucrative emerging markets in the Eastern EU and Middle East.

Hear from the architects of an economic platform that a UN report calls “the forerunner model for the future of corporate holding jurisdictions and international business centers”

Officials present at the Conference His Excellency Demetris Christofias, The President of The Republic of Cyprus, Minister of Commerce and Industry Antonis Paschalides and Cyprus Trade Commissioner Aristos Constantine as well as international experts in law, taxation and accounting?

A sluggish global economy coupled with intense competition for capital, limited investment/alpha generation opportunities, limited access to leverage and difficulty generating higher returns are big issues. Business wants access to diversification and other hedging techniques as well as growth jurisdictions, tax efficiencies, and opportunities for minimizing costs and limiting liability. They want to do business in nations that encourage foreign investment, welcoming companies with non-invasive policies, favorable tax regimes and cooperative agencies.

Cyprus offers a viable and compelling solution.

As US business leaders rethink growth models and look for low-risk entry points into emerging markets. Cyprus, a member of the European Union since 2004 and the euro-zone since 2008, has advanced at break-neck speed into a key position as a gateway nation. It is now considered one of the most respected EU jurisdictions with a legal framework in line with EU and OECD requirements, is now classified by the OECD as one of the "jurisdictions that have substantially implemented the internationally agreed tax standard" and is included on the OECD’s “White List.”

Two events on September 24 and 25 at the Harvard Club of New York City will enable you to bring this important story to your audience.  Top executives from the companies you write about will be meeting with business and government officials from Cyprus to discuss the advantages a presence there offers. After each program, you will have the opportunity for personal interviews with Cyprus officials.

The first program, an evening seminar from 6 to 8 p.m. on September 24— Cyprus: A Strategic Global Business Center and Ideal Intermediate Investment Jurisdiction—will be attended by c-suite executives, fund managers, international tax advisors, economic development experts, legal professionals and intermediaries of international financial institutions. Government officials and business leaders will discuss Cyprus as a corporate holding jurisdiction and investment platform for US outbound investment, the formation and administration of investment funds in Cyprus, tax treaty developments and Cyprus’ role as an international business and financial center. The seminar is sponsored by the Cyprus Embassy Trade Center in conjunction with the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Hellenic-American Bankers Association and the Hellenic Lawyers Association.

A cocktail reception and media event will follow the evening seminar. His Excellency Demetris Christofias, The President of The Republic of Cyprus, Cyprus Trade Commissioner Aristos Constantine, Minister of Commerce and Industry Antonis Paschalides, and panelists will be available for interviews.

At the second program, an invitation-only breakfast meeting—Investing in Cyprus: A New Funds Frontier—from 9 to 11 a.m. on September 25, officials will introduce investment fund opportunities in Cyprus, recent innovations in financial services niche areas and indications for reform on non-UCITS. The program is sponsored by the Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency (CIPA). After breakfast, Minister Paschalides, Mr. Christis Christoforou, Executive Committee Board Member of CIPA, Marina Theodotou, CIPA Director of Business Development & Operations, Mr. Marios Klitou, Treasurer of the Board of Directors of CIPA, and other officials will conduct private meetings with executives and interviews with financial journalists.

Both programs coincide with President Christofias’ visit to New York for the UN General Assembly.

According to Cyprus Trade Commissioner Aristos Constantine, attracting and fostering foreign investment is among the prime objectives of Cyprus’ development policy. “Our policy of non intervention in business operations makes for a highly favorable environment for all forms of inward and transitional business activity and foreign investment,” said Commissioner Constantine. “Our goal was to build a business infrastructure which gives investors the maximum potential for success and growth. In essence, there are few if any investment activities that are inappropriate for the Cyprus model, making it truly a new force in global commerce and investment. The Cyprus solution eliminates most of the old model’s most troublesome tax issues, trade restrictions and investment limitations.”

The resulting investment climate makes Cyprus the ideal setting for a holding company. Cyprus enjoys bilateral trade and taxation agreements with every economy of interest to US investors, who benefit from the island’s strategic location, a highly educated and linguistically agile workforce and virtually no restrictions on investments. The Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency offers advice and guidance to foreign investors along with expedited processing for large investment projects. “With a Cyprus corporation you can conduct business in emerging markets by utilizing its numerous double tax Treaties while benefiting from being within the regulatory standards of EU with the lowest corporate tax rate in the EU and a wide range of incentives,” added Commissioner Constantine. “Companies can do business in open but problematic markets without the risks inherent in operating directly in those markets.”

Together these initiatives are sending a major signal to the market. Changes to tax regimes have made Cyprus especially attractive to hedge funds and the professional services firms that support them, with many opting to establish bases on the island in order to make investments there or elsewhere in the region.

Earlier this year Microsoft CEO Bill Gates announced investment initiatives in Cyprus and other companies are following suit. Six of the 100 largest publicly traded corporations in the US have presence in Cyprus including Fluor Corporation, Morgan Stanley, Marathon Oil, PepsiCo, Inc., News Corporation and Merck & Co, Inc.

Though the US remains the largest single participant in global foreign direct investment, US investments accounted for just 1percent of total inbound FDI in Cyprus in 2008. “We aim to encourage US multinational and investment firms to increase their involvement in foreign markets using Cyprus as a gateway” said Constantine.