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About Cyprus

Cyprus, officially known as the Republic of Cyprus, is an island country, the third largest and third most populous island in the in the Mediterranean Sea.

In 1960, Cyprus gained full independence from the UK and joined the Commonwealth in 1961. In 2004, it joined the EU.

In the north of Cyprus there is the self-declared and internationally unrecognized Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, recognized only by Turkey. This partition is the result of a long-standing conflict between the Greek Cypriot majority and the Turkish Cypriot minority and an invasion of the island by Turkish troops in 1974.

Key facts

Capital: Nicosia.
Government: Unitary presidential constitutional republic.
Official languages: Greek, Turkish.
Religions: Christianity and Islam.
Population: around 1,170,000 (2016).
Membership: United Nations (UN), European Union, Commonwealth, Schengen area, IMF, WTO, etc.
Currency: Euro (EUR), Turkish lira in the north.

Geography and climate

Area: 9,251 km2.
Climate: Mediterranean, subtropical, with very mild winters and warm to hot summers.
Air temperatures: average yearly 24°C.
Water temperature: 27°C in summer.

Tourist attractions

  • Cultural and historic heritage
  • Mediterranean climate with mild winters
  • Outdoor activities and water sports
  • Nature trails and birdwatching
  • Sun-soaked beaches, wildflower valleys and pine-clad mountains
  • Spa and wellness facilities
  • Exquisite wines and cuisine
  • Good airline connections with EU and other countries

Economy

Cyprus is a high-income advanced economy. It is a popular tourist destination, a centre of international transit trade, merchant shipping, banking, and related services. Since Turkish invasion in 1974, the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot economies have been independent of each other.

Agriculture still plays a big part in the economies, especially the Turkish area. Main crops are grapes, fruits and vegetables, olives and carobs.

However, in the past 30 years, there has been a shift to light manufacturing and services.

Light and heavy manufacturing. Clothing, footwear, beverages, some machinery and transport equipment; petroleum refining, cement and asbestos-pipe manufacturing, and thermal electricity production.

Financial services sector, including offshore banking, has been growing and expanding since early 1980s. Cyprus advertises itself as a link between East and West, and some businesses from outside the EU do use it as an entry point for investment in Europe. Business services sector is the fastest growing sector.

Trade sector is very important because the island is not self-sufficient, especially in food and fuels. Though the volume of imports is much bigger, export is also a big cash earner. Ship management and merchant shipping have grown to be one of the major contributors to the Cypriot economy, mainly due to its favourable geographical position.

Tourism. Before the partition the leading seaside resorts had been mostly located in the northern part of the island, to be later occupied by the Turkish. After the Turkish invasion southern coast became a major target for development of tourism and tourism-related sectors.

Currently, tourism has a dominant position in the Cypriot economy accounting for around 10% of GDP and employing a great number of people.

Other important sectors driving the economy are mining, especially copper, solar energy, printing and publishing, and others.

To encourage foreign direct investments and attract high- and ultra-high-net-worth individuals to settle and do business in Cyprus, that could directly or indirectly contribute to the economic growth and development of the nation, the Cypriot government established a Cyprus Investment Programme.

Benefits for investors

  • European passport in exchange for investment
  • Investment recoverable after 3 years
  • Highly qualified English-speaking human resources
  • Reliable legislative and regulatory framework
  • Stable taxation system
  • Safe and stable politically and social environment
  • Tax benefits and incentives
  • One of the lowest corporate tax rate in Europe
  • Favourable geographic location
  • Mild Mediterranean climate
  • Visa-free travel to over 159 countries worldwide

Pursuant to the Investment Programme, foreign investors may qualify to become Cypriot citizens by meeting one of the specified economic criteria and satisfying all other requirements.

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