Council of Ministers approves Scheme to Promote the Audio-visual Industry
The Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Finance and Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency (CIPA) introduced on Wednesday 27 September a Programme to Promote the Audio-visual Industry.
Prepared by the Unit for Administrative Reform in cooperation with the Finance Ministry and CIPA, the scheme was presented at a Press Conference immediately after its approval by the Council of Ministers.
Addressing the Conference, Interior Minister Mr Constantinos Petrides said the plan aimed to promote an emerging and very promising sector of the Cyprus economy. “Cyprus has all the characteristics that allow it to dynamically enter the map of international film productions, which creates very positive prospects for growth. We are convinced that effective management of the scheme will be decisive to achieving viable economic growth by steadily attracting foreign investments. Through Cyprus’ projection as an attractive destination for audio-visual productions, an important objective of the scheme is to promote the country as a tourist destination and showcase its culture internationally,” he noted.
CIPA Director General Mrs Natasa Pilides presented the plan, and analysed its philosophy and content, as well as the benefits of its implementation.
As she explained, the plan combines subsidies with tax incentives, such as cash rebates, tax credits and discounts, as well as VAT refunds on eligible costs. At the same time, CIPA will provide ongoing support to investors in matters such as the issuing of licences, the importation and exportation of equipment, and the provision of information and guidance, always in cooperation with the relevant ministries and departments. For the more effective implementation of the plan, a specific cultural test has been put in place, which will be used to assess potential projects. The Competent Authority for the incentives scheme will be the Finance Ministry, and then the Under-secretariat for Growth and Competitiveness once it is established.
The Minister of Interior said the plan will lead to inflow of capital from international productions, while according to studies, every euro spent on developing the sector generates an added value of seven euro. He added that developing the audio-visual sector will contribute to the creation of expertise and new jobs, while it is also expected to encourage cooperation between executives of the local and international industry.
The development of the building infrastructure and equipment to support the industry is also considered important, as is the indirect boost it will give to ancillary sectors, such as investment funds related to film productions (film funds) and the professional services that will be provided by Cypriot businesses.
Both the Interior Minister as well as the Agency’s Director General urged the House of Representatives to approve the scheme immediately, asking that it take into consideration the growth, financial and cultural benefits its implementation will bring to Cyprus.