Address by Sophie Michaelides, director Press and Information Office (PIO), at the Cyprus Film Summit 2018
“I would like to welcome you all to the 1st Cyprus Film Summit; an excellent initiative that has been undertaken by Invest Cyprus, the Cyprus Tourism Organisation, and the Press and Information Office of the Republic of Cyprus, to promote Cyprus as a film production destination.
I also want to say thank you - thank you all for travelling from around the world to come to Cyprus.
Cyprus, which is hard to see on a map, but easy to see in all moments of history and civilisation. The island is literally an open-air museum, sprinkled with hundreds of archaeological sites, representing various periods of the island’s rich mythical and cultural heritage and history.
A history of more than 10,000 years, which shows the civilisation, hardship, struggle, rebirth, change, adaptation and creativity of the island. A history which turned the country in total synch with nature.
A nature which blesses, not only the land, but the people on it. Natives and ‘Xenos’. Xenos - a unique word in Greek which means both foreigner and welcomed guest. A word which captures the importance the country’s well-educated, devoted, hard-working, multi-lingual, fun and talented people, put towards foreign friends and guests, being people or businesses.
And this, is even more true within the audio-visual sector’s people, and believe me, I know each one of them personally and I want to thank them for being here today.
• Cyprus is good. Credible. Stable.
• Cyprus is good to be at.
• Is good for your business, because it works.
• Is good for your significant others, because is alive.
• Is good for your investments, because it provides healthy business scenery and synergies.
• Cyprus is good.
Because this solid, restructured and modernised state focusses on speed, efficiency and the ease of doing business.
Because an intelligent and fine-tuned balance between traditional sectors – such as banking, real-estate, tourism – and emerging ones – such as energy, start-ups, research & development – was sought after and achieved.
Because both the updated legal system and the face-lifted regulatory framework, facilitate faster and more efficient business at a reduced cost.
Because Cyprus is good on numbers, too:
• The Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings credit upgrades made our exit to the markets a tremendous success, showing how well the sacrifices and efforts of the Government and the people, literally, paid off.
• We are the EU’s fastest growing economy with a GDP growth at four percent
• We do have one of the lowest corporate tax rates in Europe at 12.5 percent
• We own an impressive portfolio of more than 100 new incentives for investors in various fields.
• Our assets under management doubled in the past two years from EUR2.1billion to EUR4.8 billion.
• We have a 60 percent increase in shipping company registrations and a 25 percent increase in revenues since 2013.
• The hydrocarbons’ vein discovery makes Cyprus a serious player on the energy board and can provide excellent air-view shootings of drills and installations.
• Only in the first half of this year, tourism showed a 12 percent climb.
• A 20 percent increase in property sales driven by the Cyprus Investment Programme sold high-quality homes and helped initiate landmark commercial projects and record-breaking volumes of Asian investment.
• The corner stone of the Europe’s largest integrated casino resort was earthed this year. Set to contribute EUR700 million or four percent of the country’s GDP while creating 45 hundred jobs and attract 300,000 visitors per year, the ‘City of Dreams’ will open in 2021 making Cyprus a global gaming destination, as well as a huge filming stage.
• The Cyprus Film Summit, and this is us! is announcing today a new incentive scheme offering an up to 35 percent cash rebate to the industry’s professionals, seeking a brand-new location on the movie map.
Cyprus in the middle of everything. Literally. Being strategically located at the crossroad of Europe, Africa and Asia, and also being the last divided country in Europe, make us take the world map seriously. Cyprus has excellent economic, diplomatic and cultural links to all countries, nations and people around this troubled area, and so we can provide excellent geographical connectivity to different civilisations and neighbouring countries.
Being a small but nevertheless a full EU member-state, we offer a knowledgeable, stable and safe link between the structural importance of Europe and its Institutions and the irreplaceable treasures of Africa, the Middle East and Asia, while our close, real and long-term relations to India and China allow us to have cultural and commercial access to 2.5 billion people and vice versa.
We want to share Cyprus.
We want to share the flexibility our geography and size provides, we want to share our 300 days of sunshine, our warm and dry summers and mild winters, we want to share the amazing scenery transitions between stunning blue seas and beautiful golden beaches; dense pine forests and high rocky mountains; unique cultural and archaeological sites and modern vibrant cities, picturesque villages and urban landscapes and yes ladies and gentlemen, ski slopes covered with real snow. And, yes, all of it, at arm’s length.
We also want to share our culinary uniqueness and yes, we are able to preserve everything which grows or breathes, in either vinegar or sugar and yes, we do own the deeds to Richard the Lionheart’s wine, Koumandaria. And yes, you will be able to personally taste all of these in the next couple of days.
Because we want to share Cyprus with You. Because Cyprus is good. How good? As good as the best natural film studio ever!