General information

Cyprus: The birthplace of Aphrodite…Goddess of Love and Beauty! Even if you’ve been here before, there’s always a new world to discover. Cyprus lies at the crossroads of three continents, Europe, Asia and Africa, where East meets the West and a new experience awaits you under the sun every day; where Championship Golf courses, inviting beaches, and breathtaking mountain trails can be found around luxurious hotels. The island is enriched with a culture that combines elements of the West and the East, bringing together the best of both worlds. Paphos, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO because of an abundance of ancient treasures, invites us all to discover its ancient heritage. Government & International Relations Cyprus is an independent sovereign republic with a democratic presidential system of government. An independent judiciary, and the legal system that is based on the British system of law, with an advanced and reliable Land Registry Office, upholds individual rights. Cyprus is also a member state of the United Nations and the Commonwealth and, as of 1 May 2004, a full member of the European Union. Outcome of EU Membership The island’s EU membership now allows for increased freedom of movement of European citizens to the island, as well as freedom to establish businesses and take up employment.

Climate, Language & People


Cyprus enjoys one of the healthiest climates in the world, with mild winters, long, warm summers and over 320 days of sunshine a year, allowing residents to enjoy outdoor activities all year
round. English is widely spoken, allowing foreign residents to easily blend in and feel at home.
Communications
Cyprus telecommunications facilities rank third highest in the world. Direct dial access to over 200 countries is provided, as well as modem and cellular phone networks and services, and advanced Internet connections, including ISDN. Radio, TV and satellite services are readily available in English, with many international print media available in local newsagents.
Cost of living
The cost of living in Cyprus is low compared to many other European destinations.
Museums and Galleries


Cyprus’ 10,000 year old history has brought up innumerable finds over the years, so much so that it is said if you scratch the soil anywhere on the island you are bound to unearth a relic
from the past. All the island’s main cities have an archaeological museum to house the regional findings, with pride of place taken by the main archaeological museum in the capital, Nicosia. Quite a few private and state galleries will guide you through the most recent years of arts and culture of the island up until the present. A number of specialist museums exist on the island where you can admire some exquisite examples of icons and ecclesiastical objects that have survived over time. You can also find small folk art museums all over the island where 19th and early 20th century Cypriot folk art and crafts, can be seen displayed, often in beautifully restored old buildings, in the rooms of which the way of life in years gone by is recreated.
Tourism


The diversified tourism ranging from calm beaches, trading centres, intriguing mountains and infrastructure has been bringing in numerous visitors from Europe and other parts of the world who want to experience the enthralling taste of the island’s life. This has led to the development of property and tourism industry, scaling at great heights as Reuters had opined last year. The
low cost of living compared to the deluxe European nations has been the main ground for resorting to the precious island. The presence of international airports has enabled the prompt entry and departure within very short times. There are other means of transport such as the ocean through ships and boats. This is reinforced by the local road network infrastructure that connects the central Laminus and peripheral cities.
Cypriot Hospitality
Cypriot hospitality is almost proverbial, and often traced back to a long history of changing civilizations and a constant flow of foreigners, both friends and foes. In more recent years, the
flourishing tourist industry has introduced the local population to nationals from east and west. These in turn, enjoy their host’s warmth and friendliness, which bring so many visitors back,
again and again.
Low Crime Rate
A major contributor to the peace of mind that people living in Cyprus enjoy is the fact that the crime rate is very low in comparison with other Mediterranean countries such as Spain, Portugal, Italy, and France, and practically restricted to downtown urban areas. The Cyprus crime rate has been estimated at only one tenth of the average rate of other European countries and
at 6% of that of the United Kingdom’s. This sense of security plays an important part in making visitors and foreign residents feel comfortable on the island.
Golf


Golfers coming to Cyprus can currently enjoy a choice, or a tour, of golf courses: Secret Valley, Tsada, Vigla and the championship standard course at Aphrodite Hills Golf Club. All are easily accessible from our developments, roughly a 20-minute drive away. Over the coming few months, the Government of Cyprus is expected to grant another 8 (eight) licenses for new courses.
Gastronomy


Eating out is a popular pastime among Cypriots, which is not surprising, given the number and variety of local and speciality restaurants available for all tastes and budgets. Traditional taverns, from simple and casual to upmarket rustic, serve local specialities including the sumptuous Cyprus meze, while ethnic restaurants specialize in a choice of French, Chinese, Italian,
Indian, Lebanese, Japanese, Russian and Mexican cuisine among others.
Nightlife
When you’re ready for a night in the town, evening entertainment in Cyprus ranges from bouzouki clubs to more international nightclubs with live music, numerous discos and a variety of bars, usually divided between the modern city centres and the old heart of each town.
Why Cyprus?


• Cyprus is the birthplace of Aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty.
• Population one million.
• Democratic country with liberal market economy.
• 10,000 years valuable ancient history.
• Big potential opportunities in oil & gas, which is estimated to be enough to support Europe for 100 years.
• International banking system and an important international business and shipping centre.
• Full member of the European Union since May 2004. Membe of the Euro currency since January 2008.
• Amazing climate: summer season from April to October and average winter temperatures: air +18, water +17. 320 sunny days a year.
• Crystal clear sea waters and air smelling of flowers. 52 blue flag beaches. Fresh fruits and vegetables all year round.
• Clean ecology.
• Friendly and hospitable people.
• Lowest crime rate in Europe.
• Almost everybody speaks English.
• 2 New International Airports (Larnaca and Pafos).
• 2 Sea Ports (Limassol and Larnaca).
• Golfers coming to Cyprus can currently enjoy a choice or tour of golf courses.
• Freehold and stable property prices.
• Strategic location between 3 continents: Europe, Asia and Africa.
• Legal system based on the English law.
• Easy and fast procedures to register companies.
• High quality communications and highly developed infrastructure.
• Short distances between towns.
• International schools, colleges, universities and kindergartens.
• High quality lifestyle and low cost of living.
• Tax advantages: low taxation (12.5%), double taxation treaties with 48 countries, in
most cases there is no tax on dividends, etc.
• Non Eu Citizens who purchase property in Cyprus of a minimum value of €300,000 are eligible to apply for a Cyprus Permanent Resident Permit and, those investing €2,000,000 can apply for a Cyprus European Passport.

Economy & Banking
The fact that the regulations in the financial sector are becoming more and more complex and are not easy to comply with, doesn’t need any more vivid evidence nowadays.
Companies are obliged to conform to increasingly stringent rules both on national and international levels. In these conditions it is important to be sure that your business
purposes comply with all requirements imposed by the applicable legislation and that their fulfilment will not accrue any undesirable risks. The effective laws on financial supervision and the implementation of the European directive “Markets in Financial Instruments Directive” (MiFID) into the Cyprus and Greek legislation do have a major impact in the financial sector. We offer you quality support on various issues in this complicated field ensuring a successful completion of your projects. Our firm has developed a strong practice in banking and finance and has handled a significant number of high-value and profile transactions on asset-backed deals and refinancing, particularly on inward investment to Russia, Ukraine and Eastern Europe, Greece and the Balkan countries.
Education


Education in Cyprus is overseen by the Ministry of Education and Culture. The education system is divided into pre-primary education (ages 3–6), primary education (ages 6–12),
secondary education (ages 12–18) and higher education (ages 18+). Full-time education is compulsory for all children aged between 5 and 15. State-provided schooling, including higher education, is paid for by the government. There are also leading private and elementary schools that prepare students for universities in the US, UK and Europe. Post-Secondary Vocational Education and Training (Post- Secondary Institutes of VET) offers all types of vocational education and training and provides students with the necessary qualifications by imparting academic and technical knowledge, as well as professional and practical skills. The duration of the programs offered is two years, on a 5-day basis.
Higher Education:
At present, the following public and private universities operate in Cyprus.
Private Universities
1. University of Nicosia
2. European University – Cyprus
3. Frederick University – Cyprus
4. Neapolis University – Pafos
5. Cyprus International Institute of Management – Cyprus
6. University of Central Lancashire – Larnaca
7. Intercollege – Larnaca
8. Alexander College/ UWE Bristol – Larnaca
Public Universities
1. The University of Cyprus
2. The Cyprus University of Technology
3. The Open University of Cyprus

Medical / Insurance
Cyprus Health Care
The World Health Organization ranks Cyprus as one of the healthiest countries in the Mediterranean. The quality of healthcare in Cyprus is high and life expectancy statistics compare favorably with those of other western countries. Many doctors are trained in the UK, the US and Germany, and people living in Middle Eastern countries often choose to visit Cyprus for
medical treatment. Every town in Cyprus contains a Government hospital, which charges low fees for medical care. Additionally there are numerous private clinics offering skilled specialist physicians services in every field. According to Government statistics there is one doctor for every 370 persons, a dentist for every 1,100 persons and a nurse for every 215 persons.

Taxation
The attractive tax system of Cyprus, together with its EU accession has helped Cyprus establish itself as an ideal holding company location in the EU.There are over 17,000 foreign companies (named International Business Companies IBC’s) that currently use Cyprus.
Main advantages of taxation system:
• Cyprus’ current tax system is in full compliance with the EU and OECD.
• Taxable profits of all Cypriot companies are taxed at the rate of 12.5% (however, effective corporate tax rate is NIL for most international transactions through Cyprus).
• Extensive double tax treaty network Cyprus has double taxation treaties with Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, the People’s Republic of China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Kuwait, Malta, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kurdistan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan,
Ukraine, Slovakia, South Africa, Sweden, Syria, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, the former Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) and other countries.
• Gains from the disposal of securities are tax exempt.
• Profits earned from a permanent establishment abroad are fully exempt from corporation tax (under certain conditions).
• Dividend income received in Cyprus from a foreign corporation is wholly exempt from taxes in Cyprus (under certain conditions).
• Interest income earned from trading activities, including interest which is closely related with trading activities, is subject to income tax at 12.5%.
• No withholding tax on dividends and interest paid to non-residents of Cyprus. Also no withholding tax on royalties arising from sources outside Cyprus.
• Group relief provisions for companies resident in Cyprus.
• Capital gains are not subject to tax, except on sale of immovable property situated in Cyprus.
• No Import Tax: European citizens who become permanent residents in Cyprus and who owned and use a car in their country for at least six months can bring it to Cyprus without Import Tax. Furniture can be imported free of any taxes by Europeans or non-Europeans who become permanent residents, provided that it is for personal use and is not brand new.

Shipping / Energy

SHIPPING       

The maritime industry has been one of Cyprus’ most successful export services, with the island considered one of the top global hubs for ship owning and ship management services. Furthermore our integrated maritime cluster comprises of companies involved in marine insurance, equipment suppliers, telecommunications, and ship bunkering. The country is home as well to some of the world’s most influential names in shipping such as the German-owned Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement, the Russian Unicom Management Services, the Indian Fleet Management and Italian MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company. Today, Cyprus is the largest third-party ship management centre in Europe and the largest crew management centre in the world, while the island’s international ship register is the third largest in Europe and the 10th largest in the world.

NATURAL GAS  

In 2011, Cyprus confirmed significant offshore reserves of approximately seven trillion cubic feet of natural gas. These reserves found in Cyprus’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) give rise to an ambitious energy strategy and create new challenges for our shipping industry. A whole new industry will be established in Cyprus to meet the needs of the offshore activities. It is anticipated that foreign shipping companies will relocate their offices and operations to our island in order to explore the benefits of the emerging East Mediterranean offshore market. According to a study by the Human Resources Development Authority, it is anticipated that more than 5000 jobs will be created in the hydrocarbon sector by 2019.