Facts and Figures about Cyprus:
Geographical Location: 3rd largest island in the Mediterranean Sea located in the eastern Mediterranean - Middle East (between Asia, Africa and Europe)
Main Cities: Nicosia (capital), Limassol, Larnaca, Paphos, Paralimni
Official Languages: Greek, Turkish and English
Population (2014 est.): 1,172,458
Currency:EURO, joined EUROZONE since January 2008
Time Zone: 2+ GMT
E.U: Full E.U Member since May 2004
Legal System: Common Law primarily based on the English Legal System
Airports: Larnaca and Paphos International Airport
Drive: on the left
CYPRUS as an investment destination: An island BETWEEN EUROPE, MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA
Since ancient times the historical importance of Cyprus far exceeded its small size. Its geographic location, together with its agricultural, mineral and forest wealth, made Cyprus, a transit station and center of trade and culture while its strategic importance made the Aphrodite’s island, subject of occupation by many nations and different civilizations.
Nowadays, Cyprus strategic location is considered a blessing because it attracts powerful forces with economic and strategic motives from all over the world. It has become a land of opportunities for many foreign investors, especially after its accession to the European Union in 2004 and its adaption of the E.U currency in 2008 where it facilitated easily international commercial transactions and also made the island a member of a huge, fast growing market. Additionally, is an international business hub due to the island’s friendly, modern legal and tax regime which automatically motivates people to invest not only their money but also to expand and advance their business. Despite the recent global financial and economic crisis, Cyprus has managed to overcome the challenges through its innovative tactics/methods and modern business environment and has managed to adapt to the constantly changing environment in order to guarantee in any way the interests of the island.
It should be noted that Cyprus is also a popular tourist destination that offers a multidimensional experience to everyone that visits the island. Here you will be exposed and discover more than 1000 years of history and cultural heritage, where you will be welcomed by the Cypriot hospitality (Filoxenia) and enjoy the sunny weather which is more than 300 days of blue skies a year due to the islands mild climate. Cyprus is an island full of contrasts surrounded by sandy beaches and world class resorts with marinas that offer high standards which meet the needs both of leisure and work by offering professional services for conferences.
Hence, we encourage you to visit Cyprus, meet the island and its people, explore and asses the plethora of opportunities with the assistance of our well-respected professionals of our law firm and invest in your future.
10 REASONS TO INVEST IN CYPRUS
- As Cyprus is a full member State of the European Union since 1st of May 2004, the country provides all of its citizens with a high standard of living and quality of life, (modern and highly developed infrastructure and excellent telecommunications).
- Cyprus is a democratic country and its political stability allowing the four freedoms of persons, services, goods, and capital and the full protection of human rights.
- Cyprus joined the EUROZONE since January 2008 where foreign investors from all over the world have direct access to the EU market.
- Cyprus is also a member of the Commonwealth, and the English language is spoken by the vast majority of the population, which makes it easier for foreigners to adapt to the country. Also, Russian is spoken by a large percentage of people, especially in the city of Limassol.
- Cyprus has the lowest corporate EU tax rate which is 12.5% and its enviable geographical position between Asia, Europe and Africa makes Cyprus the ideal place to invest as it is a gateway for many emerging nations such as China, Iran and India to expand further their business throughout Cyprus.
- Also the island has the lowest permissible EU VAT rate which is 19% and also has already signed double tax Treaties with 27 countries.
- Should you choose to invest in Cyprus AND obtain a Cyprus European Passport, you will enjoy the same benefits to that of a Cypriot and European Union citizen in relation to social insurance, social aid and protection as per the relevant laws (work and live in any EU Member State). With your Cyprus European Passport you have the freedom to travel throughout the European Union without the issuing of any visa. Furthermore, you can travel to up 150 countries across the world without issuing of a visa. Once you receive your Cyprus European Passport, you are entitled to work as an employee for any company or be self employed in an independent business. You will be entitled to participate in any organization that supports the rights of the employee or employer and also enjoy the benefits.
- Cyprus has a very high standard of Education across all sectors. There are excellent private schools for both junior and secondary level foreign pupils. These schools are directly linked to the UK education system allowing graduates to easily obtain entry into the top UK Cyprus also has a wide selection of English speaking Universities which are directly related to the UK & USA Universities and their graduates obtain diplomas and degrees of those foreign Universities. A very important note is that Cyprus passport holders are entitled to reduced tuition fees in other European universities.
- Cyprus provides excellent health care with very limited expenses. Each major town has its own Government Hospital, but there are also many private hospitals and clinics throughout the country.
- Cyprus holds an interim position in the shipping industry and after its accession to the EU Cyprus became an International Maritime Centre as has the 3rd largest merchant fleet in the EU and the 10th largest merchant fleet in the world.
ENERGY (Oil & Gas) SECTOR
Cyprus has officially confirmed the decision and signed a memorandum since 2011 with leading energy and exploration companies Noble Energy, Delek Drilling and Avner Oil Exploration, to build a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) plant and extensive energy centre in Vassilikos to support the emerging oil and gas industry. Initial plans include a US$6 billion LNG plant, offshore installations and a subsea pipeline from block 12 worth an additional US$4 billion. The oil and gas reservoirs found in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) are of a major importance not only for Cyprus to solve its own energy dependency but at the same time it would develop the region around Cyprus and make the island a new energy hub for the whole Europe.
VTTI Vasilikos Ltd - The Meditteranean’s New Energy Hub
A €300 million oil import, storage and distribution terminal opened as in November 2014 in Vassilikos Area located in Larnaca region, by Vitol Tank Terminals Vasiliko (VTTV), a Cyprus subsidiary of Dutch-based Vitol Tank Terminals International (VTTI). The distribution terminal is in operation and it is the only major infrastructure project currently investing in Cyprus with 100% equity funds. In addition, VTTV’s strategic location makes it the first terminal of its kind in the Eastern Mediterranean, connecting Europe and the Black Sea with markets in the Middle East and Asia. The asset currently comprises 28 tanks and capacity of 544,000 m³, and offers access to a deep water marine jetty as well as to road tanker loading facilities. A Phase 2 expansion is currently under evaluation and would create an additional 13 tanks and further capacity of 305,000 m³.
Cyprus has given the go-ahead to establish a casino industry on the island. The government is assessing what model to apply in developing this new industry and is currently considering plans to build resort casinos including various services such as hotels, spas and conference centres in specific areas.
MARINAS & GOLF
Major marina projects are being developed in the island’s coastal cities of Limassol, Ayia Napa and Larnaca, firmly placing Cyprus on the nautical yachting map. Limassol Marina already welcomed its first yachts in May 2013 and construction work continues across the entire project, with completion expected by the end of the year 2015. Limassol Marina is the first full service superyacht marina on the island boasting 650 berths. The €350 million marina project includes exclusive five-star residential units, each with its own mooring facilities, as well as commercial and retail space all within easy reach of the centre of Limassol. The development of more golf courses in Cyprus is gaining momentum with the €1.5 billion Limni Bay Resort – the biggest leisure project ever conceived on the island. Cypriot businessman Nicos Shacolas announced the project in early 2013 stating the resort will include two 18-hole signature golf courses designed by Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player, a luxury hotel and wellness centre, a heliport, cultural and sports facilities, several hundred villas and holiday apartments.