The strategies of Greece and Cyprus aimed at innovation, economic development and competitiveness in the region were developed in the panel “Creating Regional Partnerships for a Strong Innovation Hub in the Region”, in the context of the 19th economic conference of the Economist in Cyprus (19th Cyprus Economic Summit).
The General Secretary of Public Administration Information Systems of the Ministry of Digital Governance of Greece, Demosthenes Anagnostopoulos, referred to the country’s plan aimed at promoting regional cooperation and technology.
Infrastructure is key
Mr. Anagnostopoulos emphasized the importance of strong data infrastructure, digital mobility, artificial intelligence monitoring and business innovation hubs in an effort to promote economic growth and cooperation in the region.
He stressed the importance of setting up state-of-the-art data centers and submarine cable networks in the region. He pointed out that Greece and Cyprus, which share a critical geographical area, stand to benefit enormously from such investments. According to studies done, he said, every euro invested in these infrastructure projects could yield an economic surplus of eight euros.
Mr. Anagnostopoulos expressed optimism that these initiatives, if they work in the near future, will lead to significant economic benefits for both countries. He also emphasized the importance of Greece-Cyprus cooperation in this direction, characterizing it as the “highway of the future”.
Enhancing digital mobility
He also underlined the need for enhanced digital mobility and the adoption of the European Digital Wallet to facilitate seamless transactions in all European countries.
He addressed the emerging landscape of artificial intelligence, noting the exponential growth of AI models. He warned of the potential dangers posed by increasingly intelligent artificial intelligence models, and noted the need for careful handling of personal data. He emphasized that regional cooperation is essential to test and regulate algorithms, ensuring the responsible and safe development of artificial intelligence innovations.
He also pointed out that cooperation at the regional level in these three main directions could bring substantial benefits, leading to economic development.
He further underlined the importance of creating business and innovation hubs to promote digital skills, strengthen the overall business landscape and encourage technological innovation.
The President of the Cyprus Economy and Competitiveness Council, Takis Cleridis, referred to the long-term strategic plan for sustainable development and strengthening the resilience and competitiveness of the economy “Vision 2035”.
Mr. Kleridis said that one of the goals of “Vision 2035” is to develop Cyprus into a model state with an efficient government, an impartial and strong judicial system and a transparent market accessible to all. He also said the plan focuses on ensuring a sustainable and prosperous economy.
He emphasized the need to accelerate digitization to increase productivity, support the primary and secondary sectors of the economy and accelerate the transition to a greener economy.
Digital transformation and technological developments were highlighted by Mr Cleridis as key drivers of productivity and job creation. In relation to the green economy, he said it includes the adoption of low-carbon practices, circular economy principles and green fuels.
He also emphasized the importance of social sustainability, innovation and effective governance. Mr. Kleridis underlined the importance of incorporating ESG (environmental, social and governance) factors into the new strategy to ensure that Cyprus maintains a balanced and sustainable approach to economic development.
He said that Cyprus encourages international Information and Communication Technology (ICT) companies to settle in the country. To facilitate this, the government offers various incentives, including tax benefits and an improved One-Stop Shop process to speed up the establishment of companies in Cyprus. The aim, as he said, is to make relocation to Cyprus more attractive for international ICT companies and to promote an environment that favors innovation and development.
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