Presentation and Report on the Fast-Track Business Activation Mechanism

The Cyprus International Businesses Association was invited to participate in the presentation and report on the results of the Fast-Track Business Activation mechanism to which it had provided feedback.

The presentation and the report from the implementation of the extremely important, as it turns out, tool for attracting foreign investments in Cyprus, approved by the Council of Ministers on September 3, 2020, was made today in a joint press conference by the Minister of Energy, Trade and Industry Ms. Natasa Pilidou and the Minister of Interior Mr. Nikos Nouris.


The establishment of 11 companies of foreign interest in Cyprus is supported by the Fast-Track Business Activation Mechanism, in less than ten months from its launch.

The Fast-Track Mechanism provides information and facilities, based on specific criteria, to companies of foreign interests for their registration and activity in Cyprus.

As Mrs. Pileidou stated during her presentation, so far 11 companies have joined the Mechanism, while a significant number of companies active in the technology sector have shown interest.

Regarding the next steps for improving the Mechanism and attracting investments in the field of Information Technology, the efforts are oriented, to the automation of the Mechanism and to the simplification of the procedures as Mrs. Pileidou stated.

In his own speech, the Minister of Interior Mr. Nicos Nouris noted that the new economic environment created by the pandemic makes the need for the adoption of policies and procedures that are conducive to the recovery of paramount importance. Since the revision took effect in October, the minister stated, the Civil Registry and Migration  Department has issued more than 170 temporary residence and employment permits, with another 150 expected in the coming weeks. He noted that there is an increase of 10% in the submitted applications compared to the corresponding period last year.

Mr. Antoun Massaad, CEO of Cedar Rose International Services, stressed that the Mechanism came at the right time for the company, which was planning to relocate to another country. Within four months of guidance and support, he stressed, from a group of exceptional professionals, the company managed to settle in Cyprus.

Mr. Uri Poliavich, CEO of Brainrocket, part of the OUTONO group of companies, stated that the company came to our country to stay and is now part of the Cypriot economy. OUTONO considers the Mechanism, he added, an important asset of Cyprus for attracting foreign investments.

The representative of Murex Cyprus Mrs. Mayssam Youssef, Beirut Center Operations Manager, referring to the company’s criteria for landing in Cyprus, spoke about the safe and stable environment, the very good quality of life, and the proximity of the company’s base in Lebanon, which facilitates the movement of executives and employees and their repatriation. Only within five months of the decision to establish in Cyprus, she stated, the company was able to start work, an achievement attributed to the Mechanism and the excellent cooperation it had with the project management team.

On behalf of the Cyprus Investment Promotion Organization (Invest Cyprus)the President Mr. Michalis Michael stated that the Mechanism is a powerful weapon in the quiver of the Organization, which facilitates its work, i.e. the promotion of Cyprus as an investment destination.

In his own greeting, Mr. Andreas Pishias, Secretary General of the Cyprus International Businesses Association (CIBA), stated that Cyprus was and remains a friendly country to foreign companies and an attractive business destination. The operation of the Mechanism, he underlined, offers significant support to this purpose.

Incentives and Criteria
Analyzing the operation of the Mechanism, the two Ministers stated that the services it provides concern:

  • Setting up a business from a single point, for company registration, name approval, registration in the Social Insurance register, Employer Register and VAT and Income Tax Register.
  • Providing information and guidance to secure the necessary business licenses.
  • Facilitating the issuance of residence and employment permits to persons from third countries, who will be employed by the companies that will be part of the Mechanism.

Additional Incentives

  • According to the regulations, all the necessary procedures for setting up companies in Cyprus that make use of the “Fast-track Business Activation Mechanism”, are completed within 7 working days from the day the company joins the Mechanism.
  • The amendment of the policy for issuing residence permits, in order to provide facilities for the transfer of human resources from companies of third countries, facilitates the issuance, within a period of about two months, of residence permits of the workforce of the companies included in the Mechanism.
  • Another incentive to join the Mechanism is the possibility of employing a larger number of foreigners from third countries in specific professions and skills, for which the greatest shortage of supply has been observed at national level, with the majority being related to digital skills. It is noted that the number of specialized staff from third countries that each company can employ, is determined based on the amount of its turnover and ranges from 5 people for companies with a turnover of less than € 1 million and 100-200 people for companies with a turnover of over € 30 million.
  • In addition, the new residence permit policy concerns not only the foreign interest companies that will use the Mechanism, but also Cypriot companies wishing to employ staff from third countries with skills for which there is a shortage in our country and which fall into the sectors of shipping, high technology and innovation, pharmaceuticals, biogenetics and biotechnology.

Criteria for joining the Mechanism require, inter alia, a physical presence in Cyprus with the operation of independent offices, a minimum turnover of € 500,000 per year for 3 of the last 5 years for existing businesses and a five-year business plan for start-ups. In addition, an assessment of the company’s financial position will be conducted on the basis of the data of the audited financial accounts. The new companies that will be transferred to Cyprus should have growth prospects, which should be documented in their 5-year business plan.