Cyprus is the first country in the world to phase out the use of digital printing in the country, which has been experiencing a sharp drop in print sales, according to the country’s president.
President Nicos Anastasiades said the move is to make the country more attractive to international customers and protect its cultural heritage.
He also said it is necessary to protect the competitiveness of the economy and maintain its status as one of the top destinations for digital payments.
Cyprus is not the only country to implement such a plan, but Anastasian said it was important to make it happen because digital printing has caused a significant decline in print revenue.
Digital printing has been an issue in Cyprus for many years, especially after the collapse of its banks and a wave of international capital flight that left it with a $1.5 billion debt.
It was also the subject of a report from the Financial Times in 2017, which highlighted the countrys economic woes and its reliance on foreign investment to make up for the financial problems.
Cyprus lost about 70% of its print revenue in 2015, the report said, citing figures from digital printing company DigitalPrints.
The company said it has invested $1 billion in the digital printing sector, and plans to double that amount over the next three years.
The paper reported that DigitalPrint had been “forced to scale back its print operation” after the country failed to reach a deal with a consortium of lenders over the country´s debt, forcing the country to seek a bailout.
DigitalPrint said it had not received any new orders for printing and had no plans to do so, according the newspaper.
Cyprus also had an 8.5% print-to-digital ratio at the end of 2017, according DigitalPrint.
Anastasesian said digital printing was a part of the country′s economic development strategy, but he did not specify how it would be managed or whether the industry would be allowed to continue.
Digital Print said it plans to start its print-based operation in 2018, according Cypriot News Agency.