Cyprus President Demetris Christofias has said Cyprus is working on alternative measures to combat a possible fallout on its economy from the world financial crisis.
Christofias made the remarks after he returned from Beijing, where he attended the Seventh Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM).
He stressed that the Cypriot banking system is sound, with no investment in “toxic” products. But he insisted that if the world financial crisis continues, it will have some impact on Cyprus’ real economy.
The Cyprus government is paying special attention to its tourism and the construction industry in particular, he added.
The World Tourism Organisation predicted last week a nine per cent reduction in the number of Europeans who will holiday next year due to the credit crunch and looming recession.
The total number of foreign tourists coming to Cyprus in September fell 3.2 per cent compared with the same period last year, according to official statistics. Britain, Cyprus’ leading market, slumped 11.6 percent.
The real property sector in Cyprus is also suffering from the devaluation of British sterling in terms of the euro, as British people have to pay more to buy a villa.
Kyriakos Karaiskakis, manager of Lartis Developers Ltd., told the Chinese Xinhua News Agency that they now have to woo potential buyers from Russia, Iran and other countries.
However, the president maintained that there is no basis for fear or panic yet.
“We will be ready with confidence to tackle possible problems, which do not exist yet, but may emerge,” he said.