The need to combat bureaucracy, simplify procedures and update structures and practices in Cyprus are confirmed in the World Bank’s “Doing Business Report 2014”.
According to the World Bank’s report, Cyprus is ranked 39 among 189 countries, one place down from 2013, when it came 38th among 135 countries. It also came in 16 among 28 EU states after France.
The main task of the ‘Doing Business Report’ is to evaluate the participating countries, based on ten different indexes affecting and related to the lifecycle of a business. This means from the moment a company is registered, until the end of its operations.
The results are based on detailed analysis of data collected via questionnaires, which are answered by correspondents of the private and public sectors. The report is a significant reference point for international investors to compare the business environment in countries where they are considering investing in.
From a total of 10 indices, Cyprus improved its ranking in three, kept its ratings stable in one and registered losses in six. Cyprus’ assessment on the ‘Installation and Supply of Electricity’, ‘Registration of real estate’ and ‘Execution of Contracts’ indexes was not at all favourable, while a significant decline was recorded on the ‘Starting a new business’ and ‘Building Permits’ indexes.
Cyprus stands at 110 in the ranking of 189 economies on the ease of enforcing contracts while the process takes 735 days, costs 16.4% of the value of the claim and requires 43 procedures.
Registering property in Cyprus requires six procedures, takes 28 days and costs 10.3% of the property value, while the country stands at 103 on the ease of registering property.
According to the report Cyprus ranks 108th on the ease of getting electricity, while data collected shows that getting electricity here requires five procedures, takes 247 days and costs 96.6% of income per capita.
In terms of ease of starting a business, Cyprus stands 44th in the ranking and the process requires six procedures, takes eight days, costs 12.3% of income per capita and requires paid-in minimum capital of 0.0% of income per capita.
Cyprus stands at 86 in the ranking of 189 economies on the ease of dealing with construction permits which require nine procedures, takes 677 days and costs 57.0% of income per capita.
Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency (CIPA) has studied and analysed the results of the report, including issues related to the competitiveness of Cyprus compared to other investment destinations and ways in which the different criteria affected its ranking.
CIPA chairman Christodoulos Angastiniotis stressed that most of the problems faced by Cyprus are not new and that changes need to be made to improve the country’s position.
“We need to change our mentality. We need to raise our pace and increase the speed with which we respond to new developments. Some decisions should be taken, no matter how difficult they may be.
“The road ahead is difficult, but we have to walk it until we reach our final destination which is none other than the improvement of the economy and the return of our country to development and progress,” Angastiniotis said.
He added that “CIPA acts as an advisor to the government on reform issues for improving the investment environment” and assured that “CIPA is willing to help stakeholders in promoting reforms within its own sphere of competence.”