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European Investment Bank (EIB) President Werner Hoyer picked up a top business award in Cyprus on September 7 in recognition for the special role that the EU Bank has played in recent years to promote investment and help the Cypriot economy recover.

President Hoyer received the Honorary CIPA International Investment Award for 2016 from President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades at a ceremony held in the gardens of the Presidential Palace in Nicosia on Wednesday evening.

“The EIB is honoured to stand by Cyprus as a steadfast and reliable partner, not only to the government, but also to all of the entrepreneurs and investors here today that are interested in revitalizing the economy,” said EIB President Werner Hoyer during his keynote speech at the CIPA International Investment Awards ceremony.

The CIPA International Investment Awards are the most prestigious annual business awards in Cyprus and aim to reward international investors, individuals and companies in Cyprus for their substantial contribution to the establishment of the country as an international business centre. The awards were organised for the fifth consecutive year by IMH, Gold Magazine and the Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency (CIPA).

“A remarkable economic recovery has been undertaken in Cyprus, which is matched in Europe only by Ireland, as a success story in turning round an economy. It’s down to the resilience and competitiveness of key sectors, as well as the calm and rational approach of your citizens, which allowed the government to implement politically difficult structural reforms. You managed to turn the crisis into an opportunity for reform and restructuring, and that must be praised. The next steps should first and foremost concentrate on the continued growth of the real economy. We have seen you refocus on sectors with healthy prospects, such as tourism, shipping and business services, betting on education, research and innovation,” President Hoyer added.

Speaking at the awards ceremony, President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades said Cyprus is an “exceptionally attractive destination for foreign investors”.

“I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the European Investment Bank and President Werner Hoyer for their support. Thank you for offering a helping hand in a time of need; your support has been invaluable,” Cyprus President Anastasiades added.

During his keynote speech, EIB President Hoyer said: “The EU Bank has been active in Cyprus for exactly 35 years, even before Cyprus joined the EU and has supported more than 50 investments through loans of more than EUR 2.7 billion. This is a clear sign of the EIB’s commitment to Cyprus and of our willingness to continue to support viable and bankable new investments in the future.”

“As one of the smallest, but strategically most important members of the European Union, Cyprus is uniquely positioned to help heal the divisions in the region... and, why not say it on a day like today, in the entire continent... by uniting itself. Because this island can and should be a bedrock of stability and opportunity for Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean... in a time we should seek greater prosperity and greater security. It is clear that a reunification settlement would help in securing this great potential for economic growth, development and prosperity for all Cypriots. Seen against this background, the negotiations in Cyprus are not only an internal matter, they are relevant to the European Union as a whole. Indeed they are a rare ray of hope for Europe these days. So it is natural that European hopes today are for reunification of the island, because I believe that, for both Cyprus and Europe, if we decide to continue on the path of further integration, much better days could still be ahead for all of us,” President Hoyer concluded.