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Classified by the World Bank as a high-income economy, Cyprus was included by the International Monetary Fund in its list of advanced economies in 2001. Erratic growth rates in the 1990s reflected the economy's vulnerability to swings in tourist arrivals, caused by fluctuations in economic conditions in key source markets mainly in Western Europe. On 1 January 2008, the country entered the eurozone and adopted the euro as its official currency, replacing the Cypriot pound at an irrevocable fixed exchange rate of CYP 0.585274 per EUR 1.00
$25.655 billion (nominal, 2011 est.) $23.749 billion (PPP, 2011 est.)
Cyprus has an open, free-market, service-based economy with some light manufacturing. Internationally, Cyprus promotes its geographical location as a "bridge" between East and West, along with its educated English-speaking population, moderate local costs, good airline connections, and telecommunications.
Since gaining independence from the United Kingdom in 1960, Cyprus has had a record of successful economic performance, reflected in strong growth, full employment conditions and relative stability. In fact, this was further exemplified during the global financial crisis in 2008 and 2009, where Cyprus remained one of the most resilient countries in the EU. The underdeveloped agrarian economy inherited from colonial rule has been transformed into a modern economy, with dynamic services, industrial and agricultural sectors and an advanced physical and social infrastructure.
The Cypriots are among the most prosperous people in the Mediterranean region, with GDP per capita reaching almost $32,000. Their standard of living is reflected in the country's "very high" Human Development Index, and Cyprus is ranked 23rd in the world in terms of the Quality-of-life Index, but should arguably but a lot higher in rank when considering many other factors where Cyprus excels, such as ideal climatic conditions, living style, crime rate, quality-of-food, culture, community, among other.
Agriculture represents 2.3% of national GDP, industry 17.1%, and services 80.6%, mainly driven by professional and financial services, as well as tourism.
Meanwhile, recent developments in natural gas, currently being extracted (in only one sea block thus far) by US-based firm Nobel Energy should provide a significant boost to the nation's economy, investment environment and overall standards. Other sea blocks are expected to reveal even greater quantities.
Cyprus is truly a unique island country; shaped by its geographical location and presence throughout Western civilisation and history. Cyprus is a small island nation, with a strong economy, business friendly government, and excellent geopolitical relations. Throughout history, Cyprus has always been a strategic platform for trade, politics and investments. Today, this has emerged into professional business service, such as company formations, tax planning and international offshore banking. More than ever, credibility and legitimacy in being an EU and Eurozone member positions Cyprus as a global investment and financial centre.
Today, Cyprus continues to play a major role in regional geopolitics and trade relations. In 2004, the country became a full member of the European Union (EU), and then later in 2008, joined the Eurozone (euro currency area). By doing so, it also became the most eastern point of the EU, and technically the only EU country geographically in Asia-Middle East. This also then provides a unique flair and atmosphere; in culture, ideology, general way-of-life and business. Cyprus is a Westernised Mediterranean country, liberated and democratic, yet also maintains a sense of the east and orient. Of course this is to be expected, due to its close proximity, historical and cultural ties, as well as its climatic conditions.
In business this translates to a professional yet flexible approach, friendly nature, hard-working ethic and very commerce conscious – trade, industry and services - this has been the case throughout history. This attitude, together with geopolitical stability and EU membership is what truly drives the country's economy, supported by excellent infrastructure for financial and professional services, and open market economy, as well as appropriate government regulations and a general policy of non-intervention in business operations – limited to preserving the financial and professional services industry, guidance and aiding sustainability.
As such, Cyprus has become an international financial, commercial and shipping centre, attractive for global corporate tax planning and individual wealth management. Indeed, a credible and efficient base for investments to the EMEA region: EU, Europe, Russia and CIS, Middle East and Africa.
- Financial and professional services - Tourism and hospitality - Cyprus shipping industry - Real estate and construction - Regional education hub - Energy – natural gas (recent major developments) - Agriculture and manufacturing
Cyprus has become one of the most popular jurisdictions in the world for financial and professional services, including both onshore and offshore gateway activities, such as company formation, corporate tax planning benefits, legal, accounting and banking. Together with the right infrastructure, geographical location and political and economic stability, this has made the island-state an ideal platform for investments to the EU, Europe, Russia and CIS, Middle East and Africa. In fact, the professional services sector alone represents four fifths of national GDP, indeed, testament to its successful operation.
- Cyprus: EU, Eurozone & Commonwealth - Ideal geographical location for onshore & offshore gateway services - Geopolitical stability & business friendly Government - Macroeconomic resilience & growth - Well developed infrastructure for onshore and offshore gateway services - Robust Cypriot banking sector - Most favourable tax planning system in the European Union and Europe, arguably worldwide
For more information about Cyprus and how it acts as an ideal financial investment and professional services platform, click here