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Significant boost to economy from foreign investment

The economic map of Cyprus may be about to change following a meeting between the government and Canadian giant Triple Five to be held at the Presidential Palace in Nicosia tomorrow.

THE GOVERNMENT has confirmed a major investment interest in Cyprus by both a Chinese firm and the US/Canadian multinational conglomerate Triple Five.

Government spokesman Stefanos Stefanou said that contacts have been going on for some time and that the government will only make announcements when deals have actually been signed.

According to press reports Triple Five, owned by the Ghermezian family, intends to go ahead with a series of mega-investments in Cyprus. Negotiations have reached an advanced stage and tomorrow representatives of the company will finalise details of the scope of its investment.

It is believed that Triple Five wants to enter the banking system by establishing its own bank – and has already applied for permission. It is also believed that it will buy €500 million worth of Cypriot bonds. Reports also suggest that it will get involved in the tourism sector and ferry tourists to Cyprus on its own aircraft.

The company is also active in the energy sector and has suggested that it is interested in natural gas.

Last week it was reported that a Chinese company was negotiating with the Cypriot authorities for developing the old Larnaca airport terminal; negotiations between Hermes Airports and the potential investors from China have been going on for more than a year.

Asked about legislation to be introduced to secure a ‘one-stop-shop’ service to speed up procedures for companies wishing to invest, Stefanou said that this is among the government’s priorities and will be further discussed at a meeting between the Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency, the Finance Minister and the President.

They will discuss ways of making the organisation more flexible so that it can do away with red tape and speed up the process of enrolling foreign companies.

Triple Five

Triple Five is a multinational conglomerate and diverse development and finance corporation, with offices in major U.S. and Canadian cities. Triple Five’s major and unique strength is its experience in a wide range of projects giving it the ideal expertise for creating successful mixed-use developments.

Triple Five’s activities encompass the development, management and ownership of world-scale ventures in many fields including shopping centres, tourism projects, office buildings, municipal planning and development, revitalization programs and their implementation, urban entertainment destinations, recreation and amusement parks, hospitality projects, casino, residential developments, commercial and industrial real estate, auto and industrial manufacturing, natural resource development (oil, gas and minerals), technology, research, venture capital, banking and finance. Triple Five develops, manages, owns and operates its world-wide enterprises through a staff of more than 2,000 staff.

Chinese investment

Although negotiations between Hermes Airports and the potential investors from China have been going on for more than a year, little information has been released. But here is a video of plans for the old Larnaca airport terminal and other facilities from SigmaLive.

Readers' comments

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  • Denton Mackrell says:

    One needs to read between the lines! ‘Investment’ is as long as its broad – does it mean real money and real operational presence that together create real jobs for the population and a real long-term boost to the economy?

    I’m sure Mr Ghermezian (which I believe means Mr Red – surely not of the fellow traveller variety?!) is a very astute businessman. If he puts any money here, it won’t be altruistic. Think ‘snapping up cheapo junk bonds’ and waiting for an upturn. That’ll keep the civil servants paid for a short period i.e. not a real boost to the real economy. And then what? How many thousand new tourists did he say he would bring a year from USA and China? 100,000? Drop a nought off and that may be realistic, given the long-haul journeys. Does he or anyone really think that Cyprus can compete with Bali, Langkawi, Borocay etc in terms of long-haul attractiveness?

    As for North American casino companies and Chinese whatevers, it all looks as frothy and convincing as the Qatar hotel project, a range of golf complexes and the many other elusive ‘wonders’ that were promoted as dead cert investment saviours of the Cyprus economy.

  • Petros says:

    Not to worry Gavin..! it is a Chinese production..very much so!

  • Curmudgeon says:

    Getting into bed with Cyprus – Look under the bed….maybe an oil slick or two.

  • Gavin Jones says:

    The press reports concerning this project are indeed encouraging. BUT…

    I’m reminded of one of the opening scenes in the iconic film, ‘Schindler’s List’. Oskar Schindler, played by Liam Neeson, explains to his would-be factory manager, played by Ben Kingsley, that although he wouldn’t be able to run the enamelware factory, he provides something ultra important: PRESENTATION.

    The promotional video associated with this project is an embarrassment and a travesty. If I were a member of the team representing the Cypriot government and Hermes, I would immediately pull it and insist that a bona fide PR company is commissioned to do a proper, professional job.

    Crete is pronounced ‘Crat’; Cyprus is ‘Cyproos’; phraseology like ‘5 kilometres far the airport; cliches such as ‘A bright pearl in the Mediterranean sea’., etc., etc. It really is too awful for words.

    And for those who maintain that ‘presentation’ is peripheral, you’re wrong. Dead wrong. You only get one chance to make a first impression.

  • Gary Temple says:

    Let’s hope that both of these projects come into being. Cyprus needs foreign investment and extra tourism. Just need to make sure that the money coming in is managed by the companies and does not get into the hands of Cyprus fat cats!!

  • Peter says:

    I recently gave a retired Cypriot teacher a lift in my car. During the journey he commented that he saw no future for the youth here. That most, if not all would end up being servants to settlers. I assured him it would not be the British as they no longer came. Maybe to the Russians I said? But it appears it could be to the Chinese.

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