The 56th Annual General Meeting of the Limassol Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) took place on October 23rd. It was an electoral Meeting which elected the Board of the Chamber for the 2017-2020, with Costas Galatariotis re-elected as President.
The official part of the AGM, which took place at the premises of the Limassol Chamber, commenced with an address by the Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and the Environment Nicos Kouyialis representing the Government (as the Commerce & Industry Minister was abroad) who referred to positive developments in the Cyprus economy, hailing at the same time the initiatives taken and the work done by the Limassol Chamber in support of our country’s economic development.
There followed an address by the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce & Industry (CCCI) Phedias Pilides, who noted the positive developments in the Cyprus economy, but cautioned at the same time that there was still a lot to be done and that should be understood by all. Mr. Pilides also referred to the policies and actions initiated by the Limassol Chamber in support of its members and commended its contribution to the formulation of the CCCI’s overall policy.
In his speech before the AGM, Limassol Chamber President Costas Galatariotis made a brief reference to the currently improved state of the Cyprus economy, certainly when compared to the year 2014 when he was first elected LCCI President, but he was emphatic on the fact that the pre-crisis levels were still a long way off and so there was absolutely no room for complacency.
Outlining Chamber initiatives in support of its member, Mr. Galatariotis noted, among others, the following:
- Intense activity in pursuit of entrepreneurship-oriented European Programmes. The Limassol Chamber already participates in seven such projects and is actively pursuing more, aiming ultimately to set up a European Programmes-based Entrepreneurship Support Department.
- The LCCI Business Barometer which is essentially a venue for members to express opinions and make forecasts on the basis of which the Board can formulate policy.
- The well-documented proposal for a New Industrial Policy and the positive response it received from the Ministry in charge.
With regard to the Limassol port commercialization, an issue of major concern to LCCI members, he noted that productivity and efficiency have improved considerably, but high charges remain highly troublesome and ways must be found to address this serious problem.
Touching upon broader Limassol issues, the Limassol Chamber President made reference to the fast recovering construction industry, and the emergence of impressive new buildings, whether for housing purposes, or as office space, in addition to new or renovated hotels, as well as the upcoming casino-resort, pointing out that Limassol can take pride in a products that deserves to be promoted in an optimum way. In this regard, Mr. Galatariotis hailed the impressive work done by the All About Limassol portal which operates under the auspices of the Limassol Chamber and enjoys an ever increasing audience.
With regard to research and innovation, the LCCI President noted those were of cardinal importance if we want to have a competitive economy and declared the Chamber support to close cooperation between academia and the economy, including by means of spin-off companies. With reference to the long awaited Scientific and Technological Park which is by definition a centre for research and innovation, he said the Chamber was not happy that there was no interested investor which, however, did not come as surprise as the incentives offered were by all means insufficient. He clarified, moreover, that as far the Limassol Chamber was concerned, the issue was far from finished. He moreover submitted specific recommendations as to what needed to be done next.
Mr. Galatariotis also hailed the role of foreign investors in support of Cyprus’ economic development and also made reference to the improvement of infrastructures at the Limassol Chamber building, which he described as the Home of the Entrepreneur.
As for the role of the state towards catering to the development needs of Limassol, the LCCI President expressed satisfaction at the projects that are either already in progress or in the pipeline, in addition to others that were recently announced by the President of the Republic.
In the meantime, the short-term expectations of the Chamber from the government include the following:
- Upgrading Limassol’s archaeological museum
- Connecting the seaside road with the Franklin Roosevelt Avenue all the way west, up to the KEO factory
- Making optimum use of the land that used to be occupied by the Berengaria British at Kato Polemidia
- Purchasing and sinking an out-of-use oil rig with a view to creating an artificial reef for diving purposes
Concluding, the 56th Annual General meeting of the Limassol Chamber was a ceremony where honorary distinctions were awarded to two Limassol companies, Ninos V. Michaelides Ltd και Ag. Loucaides & Son, in recognition of being Chamber members for 50 consecutive years. Both had joined in as members in the year 1967.