Cyprus obtained its independent republic status in 1960, became a member of the European Union in 2004, and joined the Eurozone in 2008, introducing the Euro as its national currency.
Its strategic geographical location, blending harmoniously together with a number of other benefits of the island, has always assisted Cyprus in attracting tourists, expats, professionals and investors from all over the world. The island enjoys, among others, a pleasant tropical climate, a healthy economy, attractive tax exemptions, high standards of living, an efficient legal system, a large talent acquisition pool, an abundance of entertainment opportunities, superior infrastructure and advanced healthcare and education.
Presently, the capital Nicosia is estimated to be the most populated city of Cyprus, followed by Limassol, Larnaca, Famagusta and Paphos, each city boasting its own unique character. Nicosia has been established as a commercial and political activity hub, whilst Famagusta is known as an entertainment and tourism hub. Limassol offers a cosmopolitan living experience, whilst Paphos is widely popular as a retirement destination. Finally, Larnaca offers a more family oriented experience, hosting the primary international airport of Cyprus, alongside with a marina and port.
Although the official language of Cyprus is Greek, English is widely spoken. More than 70% of the locals speak English fluently, and all street signs and directions are noted in Greek and English. The island is a democratic nation, with the President being both the head of the government as well as the state. Its two state-of-the-art international airports of Larnaca and Paphos accommodate over 10 million visitors each year, connecting Cyprus with all the major transit and tourist hubs across the world, including London, Moscow, Dubai, Vienna and Athens.
In recent years, Cyprus has quickly developed as one of the top destinations attracting foreign investments, with the island undergoing swift economic transformations and creating a sustainable and profitable corporate ecosystem.
Supported by a combination of positive forecasts of continuous growth, a corporate-friendly and dynamic ecosystem, and one of the lowest corporate tax rates across the EU, Cyprus offers a stable and flourishing economy.
The corporate sector is facilitated with well-established transportation and communications infrastructure, while the ports sector offers cost-effective logistics solutions. Well-developed sectors of the Cyprus economy include tourism, foreign businesses, financial services and maritime transportation.
Investment in the tourism and hospitality sector of Cyprus is currently one of the most lucrative, dynamic and sustainable sectors. It was and remains the most dynamic industry of the economy, driving a large part of the country’s GDP.
Another flourishing sector is the Cypriot real estate industry, fundamentally boosting the island’s economy. The housing market has quickly recovered, with sales rising given the increased foreign demand. Foreigners, expats and locals, seek to invest in residential properties all over Cyprus, for investment, relocation, or for a holiday home establishment.
Cyprus additionally features an instrumental international shipping hub, with major global players present in its shipping industry. With more than 1,000 vessels, Cyprus rightfully boasts the 10th largest merchant fleet in the world. The “open registry” regime approved by the EU has pushed the island towards expansion and development of its shipping sector, offering an attractive shipping taxation regime.
In more recent years, Cyprus has also gained a growing and expanding gas and oil sector, offering a wide range of quick and profitable investment opportunities. The Exclusive Economic Zone of the island has transformed after the discovery of massive natural gas reserves, offering a vibrant location that provides easy access to major transit and communication routes, alongside acting as an integral fuel hub.
Other well-developed industries and sectors include Alternative Investment Funds, Films and Entertainment, as well as Research.
Real Estate Investment
The real estate industry is a major contributor to the Cypriot economy, since besides investments, it has also created an extensive pool for employment opportunities for the construction and other sectors. Demand for residential properties has increased, a demand that is tightly connected with foreign investment as well as the tourism industry.
For local and foreign investors, a property purchase in Cyprus offers an extensive array of advantages and tax exemptions. The current economic climate encourages home-ownership, the majority of which is freehold. Given the existence of various mediums and an open market economy, renting or selling a property is also a hassle free experience given the availability of information and proficient service providers.
In recent years, the Cyprus construction industry has seen great growth, expansion and development, with countless new projects and developments being constructed across the island. Aside from local developing companies, joint-venture firms combining local and foreign companies and individuals are also highly active in the industry.
Cyprus offers a wide range of immigration permit categories, ranging from work permits to temporary residence permits to permanent residence permits. One of the most popular and widely demanded permit is the permanent residence, for which the country has introduced an expedited procedure to obtain for applicants who are third country nationals and invest in Cyprus.
The Cyprus Permanent Residence Permit, granted following a property purchase and fulfilling a number of other conditions, offers a range of benefits to its holder, one of them being that it is permanent and granted for life with no renewals necessary. Holders further enjoy excellent medical facilities and healthcare, high level education of local and British Universities based in Cyprus, no inheritance tax, as well as a high quality and well balanced life.
The Permanent Residence Permit will act as a Schengen ‘lifetime visa’ once Cyprus enters the Schengen zone. Holders of the Permanent Residence Permit are also allowed to apply for the Cyprus Passport and Citizenship, after residing in Cyprus for 7 years continuously, completing 2555 days of continuous residency on the island.