Cyprus In Brief
Cyprus has always been a significant global trading and business centre, thanks to its strategic location at the crossroads of Europe, Africa and Asia. Having joined the European Union in 2004 and the Eurozone four years later, Cyprus is today the southeastern outpost of the Union, boasting a market economy, a modern infrastructure, a conducive business environment that includes a corporate tax rate of 12.5%, a liberal investment regime, a highly qualified, well-educated and bilingual labour force, and a pleasant climate and topography.
Cyprus has effectively developed into a bridge linking three continents and aims to constitute the main axis in the triangle European Union, Eastern European countries and the Middle East. It provides a perfect base for business activities and at the same time a gateway for expansion in other regions and countries.
The development of the business infrastructure in Cyprus is mainly attributed to the rapidly expanding role of the services sector in the economy. This reflects the island’s success in moving away from economic activities dependent on agriculture and traditional manufacturing onto a high-growth path based on the provision of services.
Our Services Industry
Cyprus plays a unique role in facilitating the provision of services and support to businesspeople and professionals worldwide. Almost 80% of the country’s economy is based on the provision of services. The sector supports every aspect of modern business from accounting, legal services, banking, finance, insurance, international business services, travel and tourism, through to telecommunications, computing and information technology, business consulting, education, shipping, healthcare, real estate, advertising, printing and publishing, construction, civil engineering and architectural services, filming, and conference and exhibition services/facilities.
The banking sector is well developed and caters for a wide variety of financial needs of both businesses and individuals. The commercial banks and specialised financial institutions offer full and varied local, national and international services on personal and corporate level.
Insurance cover on the island is both modern and comprehensive. The many insurance companies, both local and international operating in Cyprus, can deal with all aspects of risk management.
Human Capital and Regulatory Environment
Highly qualified and well trained professionals can provide expert and reliable advice on all aspects of business and offer the full range of fiduciary/administrative services.
The island has inherited a legal system based on Common Law. The legal profession is long established and consists of many independent law practices.
Most accountants are British trained and members of either the Institute of Chartered Accountants or the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants. Many international firms are represented on the island providing full accounting, auditing and consulting services.
Furthermore, Cyprus possesses a modern Stock Exchange giving momentum to the stock market. Overseas investors may invest without any restrictions – in the same manner as Cypriot investors can – except for specific sectors such as banking, provided that the investment is in line with the Cyprus Stock Exchange’s laws and procedures.
Every modern business requires all round expertise and Cyprus offers a wealth of qualified professionals who can provide advice and implement recommendations. Many business and financial consultants gained experience working in multinational enterprises before setting up in Cyprus. They offer advice on the entire spectrum of modern business and investment.
Recent years have witnessed the development of Cyprus into an international shipping centre for the conduct of sea-borne activities and the rendering of shipping services. The island ranks among the leading maritime nations without being a flag of convenience. Moreover, Cyprus is considered to be one of the world’s largest shipping management centres and serves also as a major freight forwarding hub in the region. A large number of bonded warehouses facilitate the conduct of international and particularly transit trade. This development is attributed to the key position of the island, the efficient customs formalities and the reliable handling and delivery system.
Cyprus is also an international transit station for passenger and commercial air transportation. A wide network of air routes connects Cyprus with major destinations, especially in Europe, the Middle East and the Gulf. The island is served by two recently constructed international airports in Larnaca and Paphos, that provide the full range of services and facilities. Particularly high priority has been attached to the further advancement of the education sector. Three public universities and a number of fully accredited private universities offer a wide range of courses and degree programmes, contributing to the ranking of Cyprus amongst the countries with the highest proportion of graduates. These educational establishments attract also foreign students from all over the world, rendering the island a major educational centre in the region.
Tourism and Hospitality
Cyprus is of course an internationally renowned tourist centre as well, offering some of the best hotel facilities in the world. All related services such as restaurants, car-rentals, sightseeing tours, leisure and entertainment facilities are present on the island and are offered to the highest possible standard. Sports tourism, primarily supported by an infrastructure of football pitches and golf courses, cultural tourism, agrotourism and medical tourism are continuously gaining ground.
*Edited from the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry publication “Cyprus Means Business – A Service Centre to the World.”