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3rd Nicosia Economic Congress


22 May 2013, Hilton Park Hotel, Nicosia

"Europe is going through a difficult process of macroeconomic rebalancing and adjustment which will last for some time still," European Union Economic and Monetary Commissioner Olli Rehn told reporters in Brussels last year, adding that the European economy was "sailing forward through rough waters". There has never been such a fierce debate concerning a multitude of issues affecting not only the everyday lives of ordinary citizens in Europe but countries and businesses as well. Never before in the history of economic thought have the "experts" been so divided over which is the right direction, which policy is right or wrong, or even how to correctly interpret the economic data being produced.

The 3rd Nicosia Economic Congress aims to become the biggest financial/economics event for the Cypriot capital. Its objective is to provide members of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Cyprus (ICPAC) and the broader business world with comprehensive information on the latest economic trends and developments both in Cyprus and across the world. Hosting distinguished international speakers who will analyze and give their own forecasts for the economy and markets; it addresses all owners and managers of companies and organizations who are actively involved in the decision-making process.

Discussions in Europe now focus on forecasting the economic situation of the EU over the next 2 years and assessing the impact of economic policies applied to countries like Ireland, Portugal and Greece.

Cyprus has agreed to a significant restructuring of its banking sector, along with other measures such as tax rises and privatisations. The measures are designed to raise billions towards the bailout, but protect bank customers with deposits of 100,000 euros or less. In addition to the above, the 3rd Nicosia Economic Congress will also focus on specific Cyprus issues, examining the banking sector and the outlook of the economy for 2013-2014.

The Nicosia Economic Congress will explore issues such as:

  • What will Europe look like in the next few years?
  • How successful have the Troika's interventions been in Greece, Portugal and Ireland? How has the Future of these countries been affected by the memorandum?
  • Can countries survive a Troika adjustment program and return to growth?
  • What is happening in the banking sector? Has the moment of truth arrived?
  • Will Cyprus manage to overturn the present downward momentum and return to growth?

This one-day event will bring together influential and innovative minds in the finance and accounting sectors as well as decision- and policy makers of the economy.





Welcoming Address
Konstantinos Giorkatzis, Mayor of Nicosia 


Chairman's Introduction
Theodoros Parperis, President, The Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Cyprus, Cyprus


Europe's Outlook: Not Yet Out of the Woods

The euro zone's sovereign debt crisis continues to determine the outlook for Europe. Interest rates declined following introduction of the Outright Monetary Transactions by the ECB, which temporarily lifted market pressure off politicians. Euro zone policymakers have made progress toward the creation of fiscal and banking unions and Greece continues to receive bailout assistance. Yet the euro area remains mired in recession, credit is tight, and uncertainty increased following Italian elections and the Cypriot bailout. Italian voters rejected austerity measures imposed by the previous technocrat government. The Cypriot banking crisis has tested the commitment of the euro zone representatives to keep the currency union together. Key short-term risks still include a Greek exit from the single-currency area and further deterioration of Spain's fiscal position and banking industry. While the critical economic and political events have kept the policy makers from being complacent with the status quo, the euro area leaders have so far failed to get ahead of the crisis. Political barriers frequently prevent changes in current policies and institutions based on lessons emerging from the debt crisis. The Cypriot situation highlighted the need for the euro area deposit insurance and a bank resolution mechanism. Also, the bailout funds should be used to recapitalize banks directly as opposed to increasing the sovereign debt of the troubled countries. Finally, fiscal austerity measures should be spread over time.

Dr Petr Zemcik, Director of Economic Research, Moody's Analytics, UK 


The Greek and Cypriot Financial Crises

What are the similarities and differences, how to restore Financial Stability and Confidence
An Economic and Financial Programme is required in Cyprus in order to tackle the challenge of fiscal consolidation and to achieve a positive growth rate. Moreover, Cyprus has to implement all the necessary structural reforms which will improve international competitiveness and help the economy recover and achieve sustainable growth by permanently addressing its financing needs. Drawing upon recent lessons from the Greek sovereign debt crisis and its impact on the Greek financial system, important economic and financial issues will be analyzed in this presentation on achieving the necessary stability of the banking system while ensuring the required liquidity which is essential for economic growth in Cyprus.

Nikolaos Georgikopoulos, Financial Economist, Visiting Research Professor New York University-Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Research Fellow in Financial Economics at KEPE, Greece 


Fiscal Stabilisation Programmes: The Case of Portugal

  • A monetary union without a banking union; A monetary union without a fiscal union.
  • The role of the ECB and country-specific public debt problems.
  • The EU response: too late, too little?
  • The Portuguese consolidation programme and the role of expectations

Luis Campos e Cunha, Professor of Economics, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal


Sustainable Public Finances - EU Perspectives

Achieving sustainable public finances is one of the most acute public interest challenges facing EU Member States today. In the overwhelming majority of Member States, public sector financial management and forward planning is all too often inadequate – and serious shortcoming in public sector accounting and reporting are significant contributory factors. In many cases, governments have assumed commitments which are not integrated into their accounting bases and their long-term planning, which raises questions about the true extent of public debt. Some major steps are being considered at EU level to drive reform in this area: it is essential that a clear path is developed to successfully address the challenge that Europe faces.

Martin Manuzi, Regional Director Europe, ICAEW, UK


Questions and Answers 


Networking Coffee Break 


Can Countries Survive an IMF/Troika Adjustment Programme and Return to Growth?

With the crisis in Greece and on the periphery of Europe, public opinion in the developed world is discovering that adjustment programmes are harsh on society and they can also be politically destabilizing. Less Developed Countries (LDCs) have long known these traits of adjustment programmes but at an institutional level in the International Financial Institutions (IFIs) as well as in the institutions of the European Union, nobody appeared to care until a major financial crisis hit the developed countries. In fact, crisis resolution schemes such as those backed by the IMF and the Troika have socially and politically costly side effects, as a result of the significant gap that exists between democratic institutions and the implementation and impact of measures taken in the framework of crisis resolution schemes. What can be learned from the country that was worst hit by consecutive crisis resolution schemes so as to minimize the costs to other countries?

Guillermo Nielsen, Former Secretary of Finance Argentina, President of Strategic Investments, Argentina


Cyprus Economic Outlook for 2013-2014

  • How does the government plan to end the crisis?
  • The government's economic vision, policy and objectives.
  • The Memorandum signed with the Troika.
  • Is Cyprus's debt sustainable?
  • How can Cyprus get back on the road to growth? 

Harris Georgiades, Minister of Finance, Cyprus


The outlook for the Banking Sector in Cyprus

The outlook for Cyprus's banking system remains negative, says Moody's Investors Service in its "Banking System Outlook: Cyprus." At the same time, Moody's expects that, over the next 12-18 months, the Cypriot banks will face substantial recapitalization needs as a result of acute asset-quality pressure.

  • What should we expect now?
  • What are the key drivers that will raise expectations?

Yiangos Demetriou, Director of Banking Supervision and Regulation Department, Central Bank, Cyprus


Questions and Answers 


The Banks CEOs discussion: The Future of Banking in Cyprus.

  • What is the role of the Banking Sector in the "Post Memorandum Cyprus"?
  • What is the role of the Banking Sector in developing the services to the international business sector in Cyprus?
  • How can the Cypriot Banking Sector regain its lost reputation and position itself to be competitive again both domestically and internationally?
  • What are the most important issues facing the Cyprus banking sector?
  • What are the evolution and the future of Retail Banking, Commercial Banking and Investment Banking in Cyprus?
  • What do bankers need from the new Government? 


  • George Georgiou, CEO, Alpha Bank Cyprus
  • George Appios, Managing Director and CEO, Piraeus Bank, Cyprus


Networking Cocktail


Cyprus' Growth and Debt Challenges

A review of Cyprus' financial and economic challenges in the context of the European financial crisis and the response of the European Authorities in fully addressing the crisis. The presentation will examine the sustainability of Cyprus' sovereign debt and the key implications of the European response to the Financial Crisis. Special attention will be given to Cyprus' debt and economic growth challenges in designing a sound strategy to fully resolve the present financial challenges.

Guillermo Nielsen, Former Secretary of Finance Argentina, Presient of Strategic Investments, Argentina


Global Competitiveness of European Economy as the key for sustainable success

Any European company can in the long run only be successful if it puts itself in a position to compete sucessfully with others on the relevant market. That goes for companies producing both goods or services. Customers must be ready to buy a product which is competitive in itself at a competitive price. Although there might be some regional niche marktes, most of the products offered must compete globally nowadays. The success of German economy is a permanent adaptation process of the economy and the safeguardng of the parameters and costs of production to the needs of changing markets. In times of German unification whole an economy not being competitive by our standards had to be integrated into the global and open world economy. If there are any shortcomings in economies, the state and European Institutions should facilitate the path of adaptation with an end of regaining competitiveness again and avoiding social hardship. But conditionality of support programs under the EFSF / ESM is key. That does not exclude targeted growth measures in parallel for the period necessary to achieve that competitiveness. However they should be limited in time and desinged in such a way that they are not needed after some years any more. The global markets and third country competitors will not forgive Europe if it fails to streamline its economic conditions as rapidly as possible.

Uwe Wixforth, Financial and Commercial Counsellor, German Embassy, Cyprus


The Economists' panel discussion: Analysing the new Economic Reality of Cyprus: Economists, Academics and Financial Media personalities discuss economic future of Cyprus

  • What is the new "Post Memorandum" reality of Cyprus
  • Will there be a Memorandum No.2?
  • What are the prospects for potential growth in Cyprus?
  • How can Cyprus return to investment grade again? What does the story of the other Memorandum countries tells?
  • The necessity of privatizations. How, when and to whom?
  • Sustainability of the public debt. What are the options?
  • Combating unemployment – The flexible labor market option. Labor market reforms.
  • International and local press – coverage of the countdown to the final agreement on the Memorandum.


  • Alexandros Michaelides, Professor of Economics, Department of Public and Business Administation, University of Cyprus
  • Dimitris Georgiades, Finance Director and Financial Editor, Politis NewspaperFiona Mullen, Director, Sapienta Economics Ltd
  • Fiona Mullen, Director, Sapienta Economics Ltd
  • Kyproula Papachristodoulou, Senior Editor, Gold Magazine 


Chairman's Closing Remarks 


End of Congress



Harris Georgiades, Minister of Finance, Cyprus

Harris Georgiades studied Economics and the International Relations (BA 1992-95) and European Studies (MA 1995-96) at the University of Reading, UK. Was a prost-graduate researcher at the Institute of European and International Studies of the University of Reading (1996-98). He was professionally involved in the tourism sector. He served as the General Secretary of the Democratic Rally Youth, as Chairman of the Democratic Rally Young Graduates and as Director of the Democratic Rally President's Office. During the period of 2009-2013 he served as Press Spokesman of the Democratic Rally. He was also the Deputy Head of the Economic Policy of the Party. In May 2011 he was elected as a Member of the Parliament with the Democratic Rally. He served as a Member of the Committee of Financial and Budgetary Affairs, the Watchdog Committee and the Committee of Communications and Public Works. On 1st of March 2013 he was appointed by the President Mr. Nicos Anastasiades, as Minister of Labour and Social Insurance. He served at this post until the 3rd of April 2013. On 3rd of April 2013 he was appointed by the President, as Minister of Finance of the Republic of Cyprus.

Dr Panicos O. Demetriades, Governor, Central Bank of Cyprus

Panicos Demetriades studied economics at the University of Essex(BA, MA) between 1985 and 1990 and obtained a PhD in economics from the University of Cambridge in 1987. From 1985 to 1990 he served as an Officer in the Economic Research Department of the Central Bank of Cyprus. During the period 1990 - 2000, Dr Demetriades was a Lecturer in Economics and Professor of Financial Economics at the University of Keele and South Bank University, respectively. Between 2000 and 2012 he held the position of Professor of Financial Economics at the University of Leicester. Since May
2012 he has been the Governor of the Central Bank of Cyprus.


Petr Zemcik, Director of Economic Research, Moody's Analytics

Petr Zemcik is director of economic research at the Moody's Analytics London office. He is responsible for analysis, modeling, and forecasting for Europe. Dr. Zemcik also supervises the real-time coverage of Europe for the Dismal Scientist web site. He previously worked at CERGE-EI, a joint workplace of the Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education of Charles University in Prague and the Economics Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, and at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. He has published numerous articles on econometric methodology and on real estate bubbles in the United States and in Europe in peer-reviewed professional journals. He holds a PhD and M.A. in Economics from the University of Pittsburgh and M.Sc. in Econometrics and Operations Research from the University of Economics in Prague.


Luis Campos E Cunha, Former Minister of Finance, Professor of Economics at Universidade Nova de Lisboa

Professor of Economics at Universidade Nova de Lisboa. Ph.D. from Columbia University. Vice-governor of the Portuguese Central Bank (1996-2002). Finance Minister for a short period in 2005. Currently at the board of Fundação Serralves and Fundação CCB; non-executive board member of Galp Energia and chairman of Conselho Fiscal of Banco Santander Totta; President of the civic NGO —SEDES— since 2009.



Dr. Nikolaos Georgikopoulos, Financial Economist, Visiting Research Professor New York University-Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Research Fellow in Financial Economics at KEPE, Greece

Dr Nikolaos I. Georgikopoulos is a research fellow in financial economics and the Head of information technology at the Centre of Planning and Economic Research (KEPE) in Athens. For the academic year 2012 - 2013, Dr Georgikopoulos is a visiting research Professor at New York University - Leonard N. Stern School of Business (USA). He is also a part-time Lecturer at London Metropolitan University (UK), affiliated with the STORM research centre (Statistics, Operational Research and Mathematics). In addition, he is an external senior associate research fellow of Emeritus Professor Nicos Christofides, Imperial College London (UK). He was recently the main coordinator of three research projects assigned to KEPE by the Greek state: a) Investment Opportunities in Greece: The path to Recovery and Sustainable Growth, which was submitted to the Prime Minister's Office (Athens, February 2013), b) The Impact of Electronic Transactions on Tax Revenues, which was submitted to the Hellenic Parliament (Athens, November 2011), and c) Investment Opportunities in Greece, which was submitted to the Ministry of Development, Competitiveness and Shipping (Athens, September 2011)


Guillermo Nielsen, President of Strategic Investments, an Argentine company dedicated at providing financial engineering schemes primarily on the energy sector.

Guillermo Nielsen was the Secretary of Finance of Argentina between 2002-2005, a period of economic crisis and recovery from the deepest economic depression of modern history of that country. He negotiated two Stand-by agreements with the IMF, and was also on charge of the private debt restructuring, -which was the largest at that time, and required a deep haircut-, and involved negotiations with banks and investment funds in the USA, Europe and Japan, and with retail investors particularly in Italy and Japan and Argentina.


Martin Manuzzi, Regional Director Europe, ICAEW, UK

Martin Manuzi is Regional Director, Europe of ICAEW - the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. ICAEW is the largest professional accountancy Institute in Europe and as required by its Royal Charter works in the public interest. ICAEW's activities in the Europe Region encompass interaction with the European Institutions and key stakeholders on EU regulatory and public affairs, increasing access to ICAEW's portfolio of qualifications and services and supporting ICAEW members. Martin chairs the Accountancy Profession Strategic Forum, an ICAEW initiative to encourage proactive strategic planning and innovation among professional accountancy bodies so that they continue to be relevant and contribute to market needs and the public interest. He also leads the ICAEW discussion group 'Sustainable public finances – EU perspectives', which seeks to advance the EU policy debate in Brussels on public sector financial management and accountability. Born and educated in the UK, Martin completed a Ph.D. in history on the interaction between politics and management in the Italian state industrial sector, from the collapse of the Italian banking sector in the interwar period to the privatisations in the 1980s.


Main Sponsor

Alpha Bank first began its operations in Cyprus in 1998 with the acquisition of Lombard Natwest Bank which was renamed Alpha Bank Ltd and later Alpha Bank Cyprus Ltd. Alpha Bank Cyprus Ltd is a full subsidiary of the Alpha Bank A.E. Group, one of the largest groups in the financial sector in Northeastern Europe. The Alpha Bank Group is active in the international market with a presence in Greece, Cyprus, Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, the Ukraine, Albania, F.Y.R.O.M. and Great Britain. Alpha Bank Cyprus Ltd offers a wide range of banking services including retail, corporate and international banking as well as credit cards. Through its Group Companies it offers complete solutions which cover the entire financial field. The Bank's aim since it began operations in Cyprus has been to satisfy its customers' needs, to provide a high level of service and to create pioneering products adapted to their demands and financial interests. A basic criterion for the creation and implementation of new products and services is that they offer a considerable advantage over the competition so that customers gain true benefit and value from their association with Alpha Bank 

Gold Sponsor

 Deloitte is one of the largest and fastest-growing professional services organisations in Cyprus with over 450 partners and staff providing a wide range of services from offices in all major cities. In its fiscal year 2010, the Deloitte member firm network became the largest private professional services network in the world based on revenue and headcount. Approximately 170,000 professionals in more than 140 countries demonstrated their commitment to a single vision to be the standard of excellence. As part of the Deloitte international network, Deloitte Cyprus has the advantage of a global sharing of knowledge with a local adaptation and personal approach, built on the solid foundations of more than 50 years of successful operation on the island. Deloitte provides audit, tax, consulting and financial advisory services to public and private companies spanning multiple industries. Its multidisciplinary, collaborative approach to client service, combined with an ability to look at business and financial issues from every angle is what sets it apart. Its integrated services are addressed primarily to the international business community and include accounting and payroll, tax compliance, formation and administration of companies, partnerships and trusts. Deloitte is known for its values of ethos, integrity, specialised knowledge and professionalism. Its ongoing commitment to continuous investment in its people and the quality of its deliverables are the key to its success.



"Quality, Hospitality & History" 

In Electra Hotels & Resorts, hospitality becomes a whole new experience. Apart from the high quality facilities and services you expect from a luxury hotel, their superb position in Greece's most historic and picturesque locations and their wonderful blend of elegance and tradition transforms your accommodation in Electra Hotels & Resorts to a lifetime memory.


IMH is the leading business information, knowledge and skills transfer company in Cyprus. Its services include Conference, Congress and Seminar organizing, Commercial Exhibition Organizing, Specialized Media and Human Capital Consulting and Training. Every year IMH organized over 60 conferences on various business issues, 8 commercial exhibitions and dozens of training seminars and congresses IMH publishes the only business magazine in Cyprus, IN Business magazine, which is read by thousands of business people, managers and professionals. IMH also plays a key role in the provision of online information on a daily basis via inbusinessnews.com, the number one business portal in Cyprus.It publishes Gold, the first English-language international, investment, business and finance magazine in Cyprus.

Communication Sponsors

The leading business monthly in Cyprus, it has changed the publishing landscape through its pioneering role as the only channel of business information on the Cyprus market for trade, industry, services, management, marketing, HR and sales executives.

The only comprehensive business portal in Cyprus has become the best source of business information for the Cypriot manager, executive, entrepreneur and consumer. On a daily basis, the portal's team of journalists presents the most important and latest news from Cyprus, Greece and elsewhere spanning the whole spectrum of the economy and the business scene.

Sigma Television, the leading television station in Cyprus, was established in 1995 and continues to be the only fully independent television station in Cyprus, broadcasting daily on a 24-hour basis aimed at a wide range of audience. Sigma rates first out of six local national broadcasters in terms of total viewership. Sigma Television delivered the first locally produced, daily drama series and the first ever locally produced comedy to Cypriot viewers. It is also proud to have produced and aired the longest running daily drama series on Cypriot television. On January 2010, Sigma launched its new cooperation with the Greek Television Channel ALPHA. Moreover, Sigma holds the exclusive rights to broadcast first choice UEFA Champions League matches, in open zone, in Cyprus for 2012 - 15.


The Congress will be attended by:

  • Ambassadors and Embassy Officials
  • Members of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Cyprus
  • CEOs and CFOs of companies from all sectors of the economy
  • Senior Managers
  • Professional Accountants
  • Government Officials
  • Industry Leaders
  • Policy Makers



Europe's Outlook: Not Yet Out of the Woods
Dr. Petr Zemcik, Director of Economic Research, Moody's Analytics, UK

The Greek and Cypriot Financial Crises
Dr. Nikolaos Georgikopoulos, Financial Economist, Visiting Research Professor New York University-Leonard N.Stern School of Business, Research Fellow in Financial Economics at KEPE, Greece

Fiscal Stabilisation Programmes: The Case of Portugal
Luis Campos E Cunha, Former Minister of Finance, Professor of Economics at Universidade Nova de Lisbo, Portugal

Can Countries Survive an IMF/Troika Adjustment Programme and Return to Growth?
Guillermo Nielsen, Former Secretary of Finance Argentina, President of Strategic Investments, Argentina

The Banks CEOs discussion: The Future of Banking in Cyprus. What is the role of the Banking Sector in the "Post Memorandum Cyprus"?

Global Competitiveness of European Economy as the key for sustainable success

Uwe Wixforth, Financial and Commercial Counsellor, German Embassy, Cyprus



The Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Cyprus (ICPAC) is the competent authority for regulating the accounting profession in Cyprus. It has been established in 1961 and currently has more than 3.300 professional accountants as members. Its mission is to support and promote the professional development of its members and protect the reputation of the accounting profession through the code of conduct that deals with professional ethics. ICPAC deploys a series of actions to provide knowledge, technical assistance and guidance to its members on various professional topics of interest. ICPAC plays an important role in the economic development of the island and particularly in transforming Cyprus into an international financial centre of reputable standing. The fact that the views of the Institute are sought by Government and the House of Representatives on legislative and other issues affecting the economy of the island is indicative of its standing in the business community. ICPAC is a member of the International Federation of Accountants, the European Federation of Accountants and the Mediterranean Federation of Accountants.

Gold magazine addresses the international and local English-speaking business community in Cyprus, international and local high net worth investors and the professionals who provide services for them. A key objective of Gold is to promote Cyprus as an international business and investment centre and, by extension, to promote the professionals offering services in this sector. The magazine is written for a global audience of senior business, political and financial decision-makers. Gold Magazine is published by IMH.



Hilton Park Hotel
Georgiou Griva Digeni
Nicosia 1507

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