Due to its strategic location in the Eastern Mediterranean, the island of Cyprus has always been an attractive location for commerce and business activities. The usefulness of Cyprus as a base for international business is the result of its long history, and a unique blend of influences.
Accession to the European Union has anchored Cyprus to the developed world, and provides an element of political and economic stability to the vibrant business potential of a dynamic region that borders Europe, Russia, Central Asia, the Middle East and even North Africa.
Located in the North-Eastern corner of the Mediterranean, Cyprus has an area of roughly two thirds the size of the state of Connecticut, or half the area of the country of Belgium. Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean, after Sicily and Sardinia. The total population is about 800,000. The capital, Nicosia, has a population of approximately 300,000. Greek and Turkish are the official languages, however, English is widely spoken, and is used by professional offices and banks.
Cyprus is an independent Presidential Republic. Executive power is exercised by the Council of Ministers, whose members are directly appointed by the President. The highest legislative body is the House of Representatives, consisting of fifty-nine members elected for a five-year term of office.
The Cypriot legal system is based upon British Common Law. British Case Law is closely followed, and all statutes regulating business matters and procedure are based on British law.
Political Stability – EU Membership
Shortly after its founding in 1960, Cyprus went through a period of political unrest as a result of inter-communal conflict between the Greek and Turkish communities, which are the two main ethnic communities on the island. These events reached a climax in 1974 with a Turkish military intervention. However, for over three decades the island has enjoyed uninterrupted peace, which has encouraged exceptional economic development.
Both the Greek and Turkish communities have declared their determination to reach a peaceful resolution of their dispute.
In April 2004, Cyprus signed the EU Treaty of accession, and became a full member of the European Union. As part of its European integration, Cyprus entered into the Euro-zone on January 1, 2008.
Double Taxation Treaties
Cyprus has a large network of double taxation treaties. Constructive use of this network has rendered considerable advantages to businesses and individuals who have either chosen to establish their business in Cyprus, or included Cyprus in international structures. Currently, Cyprus has signed treaties with over 40 countries (for a full country index please click here);
Cyprus offers one of the most efficient telecommunication systems in the world, which comprises the following services:
Fully automatic 24-hour direct dial telephone connection with most countries. All other countries can be reached through the operator;
Telegraph service connection with every part of the world; International automatic telex and facsimile service;
Datel service for the transmission of computer data both nationally and internationally over the public telephone network; ISDN and ADSL connections for Internet service;
Radiotelegraph and radiotelephone services with ships at sea on a 24-hour basis;
Automatic telex for ships through the Marisat service (maritime service through satellite);
TV transmission and reception on a 24-hour basis available to news agencies ,television and radio networks, through the Makarios satellite earth station;
International courier service including Datapost operated by the Cyprus Department of Postal Services, DHL, Skypak, and Tradewinds Express, all delivering parcels to Europe and the US within 48-hours from time of collection.
Due to its position between three continents, Cyprus’s role as a transit hub for air travel has increased. The travel time from several major European and international business centers to Cyprus are illustrated as follows: