80% of SE Asian investors actively looking for opportunities: Cyprus survey

80% of SE Asian investors actively looking for opportunities: Cyprus survey

FDI interest from private wealth clients in SE Asia in investing in Europe remains high, according to a survey conducted by Invest Cyprus and published today.

Attracting international investor interest include shipping, energy and, more recently, financial services and higher education, the conference, Cyprus Private Wealth Planning: An EU Centre for Global Wealth Management, was told.  

Asked their investment plans over the next 12 months, fully 80% of participants which included private client lawyers, tax advisors, trusts professionals, bankers and fund managers said they were actively looking for new opportunities.

Having a funds structure in Cyprus is one-third of cost in Luxembourg and Ireland."

Additionally more than 66% said they were most interested in investment funds and financial services, while 33% said they wanted to buy real estate, and 11% to invest in ICT and innovation. 

The ease of doing businesses (75%), followed by the socio-economic stability (50%) and costs of living/doing business (50%), were singled out as the most important factors when considering investing in another region.  

The renewed focus on SE Asia by Cyprus follows the publication of the first EY Attractiveness Survey on Cyprus that showed that the Mediterranean island was one of the fastest growing economies in the eurozone before the coronavirus pandemic, with strong FDI into tourism and hospitality, real estate and professional services.  

George Campanellas of Invest Cyprus said Cyprus's strategic location, access to markets as a member of the EU, highly educated workforce, efficient legal and regulatory regime and the low cost of doing business gave it "an advantage over other more mature European markets, as well as the overall European market."

"Having a funds structure in Cyprus is one-third of cost in Luxembourg and Ireland," added speaker Andreas Yiasemides, president of the Cyprus Investment Funds Association. Cyprus also added Singapore to its list of double taxation agreements in 2000. 

Speakers at the Invest Cyprus SE Asia conference included Michalis P Michael, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Invest Cyprus, Antonis Rouvas, Board Member, Asset Management, KPMG Cyprus, Maria Klappa, Partner, Tassos Papadopoulos LLC and Charis Kynigou, Head of Private Banking at Astrobank.

Cyprus is looking to repair damage to its reputation following an undercover sting earlier this month. The Al-Jazeera investigation filmed high-level officials waiving through applications for "golden EU passports" from a ficticious Chinese investor and convicted criminals.

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Christopher Copper-Ind

Christopher Copper-Ind is editor-in-chief of International Investment. Before this, he was editorial director of The Business Year, from 2014 to 2017.