Cyprus is one of the largest and widely known shipping centres in the world, accommodating both ship owning and ship management companies. Many ship management companies operating on the island, rank amongst the largest of their kind in the world and it is estimated that they manage about 20% of the world’s third party managed fleet.
Cyprus Shipping Centre is the home to some leading names in the global shipping industry, such as the Italian MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company, the German-owned Bernhard Schulte Ship management and the Russian Unicom Management Services.
The Register of Cyprus Ships ranks amongst the top registries in the world with a merchant fleet exceeding 23 million gross tonnage and 3rd in the European Union with a percentage of about 11% of the total fleet of the European Union member states.
Cyprus maintains a wide range of competitive advantages through a high-quality maritime cluster, offering efficient, quality services and benefits including:
- The latest EU-approved Tonnage Tax System (TTS) with no direct link to corporate tax
- Competitive ship registration costs and fees
- No crew/officer nationality restrictions
- 28 Merchant Shipping Bilateral Agreements
- Signatory to all international maritime conventions on safety, security and pollution prevention
- Full protection for financiers and mortgagees
- White List of Paris and Tokyo MoUs
Basic shipping tax advantages.
- The ship owner companies and management companies are taxed according to the net tonnage of the ship and not on the basis of the local corporate tax (12.5%)
- The tax obligations of the company are controlled by the Department of merchant shipping and not the Tax registrar
- Ensures the total exemption of the profits from the corporate tax and the tax arising from the sharing of the profits (dividends)
- Allows the operation of a variety of activities to a company/group of companies, as well as the taxation of the shipping activities on the tonnage tax law and any further activities based on the corporate tax at 12.5%
- Provides the transparency of the registered corporations and vessels list
Tourism has traditionally been a major source of income and a driver of economic growth in Cyprus, with a significant contribution to the country’s GDP. Being one of Cyprus’ most resilient and strong economic sectors, tourism continuously experiences substantial growth, translated into a number of more than 2.5m tourists visiting Cyprus every year.
Cyprus is well known for the hospitality of its people, the delicious Mediterranean gastronomy, its rich history and culture, and extraordinary natural beauty. With its golden sandy beaches and clear blue waters, as well as its pleasant Mediterranean climate with almost year-round sunshine, Cyprus has been a popular tourist destination for decades. The island’s famous beaches have been awarded with 57 Blue Flags in 2015, ranking the island first in the EU for the tenth consecutive year, including three records:
- most Blue Flags per capita in the world
- most dense concentration of Blue Flag Beaches
- most Blue Flag beaches per coastline
Cyprus tourism industry has gained several prestigious awards, including the Sustainable Destinations Global Top 100, VISION on Sustainable Tourism and Totem Tourism and Green Destination titles presented to Limassol and Paphos in 2014. But there is much more to Cyprus than just sun and sea. Cosmopolitan and culturally rich, Cyprus offers a variety of tourism options that cater to all tastes and desires, whether it be sports, historical and cultural attractions, luxury resorts, wine routes, nature trails and agrotourism. The island has all the prerequisites to further develop this industry and offers great potential for investments in niche areas such as Health & Wellness, Sports, Luxury and Lifestyle. In the last decade new projects completions include golf courts, sea front resorts and spa and since last year, casino resorts are now licensed and operating for the first time in Cyprus.
“One of Cyprus’ most resilient and strong economic sectors with a significant contribution to the country’s GDP.”
The Deputy Ministry of Tourism has been focusing lately to rebrand Cyprus Touristic product and developing upgrades to all sectors involved. Cyprus attracts besides traditional tourism, attracts athletic tourism, business visitors, Food and beverage professionals, wine enthusiasts and many more. Incentives and funds are given to professionals in an effort to upgrade the product.
REAL ESTATE AND INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS
Acquiring property in Cyprus, either as an investment or as home, has always been a popular choice among foreign investors. A combination of high quality of lifestyle, year-round sunshine and natural beauty, ease of doing business and investment incentives, low criminality, are some of the reasons investors choose to reside in the island.
Property sales have increased significantly in 2016, with the construction industry intensifying its activities island-wide. Cyprus continues to offer unique options for beautiful holiday homes and represents a popular destination for permanent residency and retirement.
At the same time, a wide range of prestigious Large-Scale Development opportunities are available, ranging from residential and commercial developments, to luxury tourist attractions, such as marinas, golf courses, tourist resorts.
Real estate is a sector that currently attracts most of the investors in Cyprus and one reason is the Cyprus Investment program. The program allows investors and families to relocate by investing not only in real estate but also on local companies and start-ups. Find more about Cyprus Investment Program.
The discovery of hydrocarbons in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) has created new and exciting prospects for Cyprus to become an energy hub in the Eastern Mediterranean. Prospects in the energy sector are all the more promising thanks to the island’s geostrategic location, connecting Europe and the Black Sea with markets in the Middle East and Asia and its role as a pole of stability and security in the region of the Eastern Mediterranean.
Recent developments have attracted worldwide interest and significant investments from leading international energy giants, such as Noble Energy, Delek, Total, ENI and KOGAS, ExxonMobil as well as renowned international providers operating in the oil and gas auxiliary services sector. Comprehensive strategies are being developed to exploit the country’s wealth not only for local needs, but also for export purposes.
- Ideal regional base for serving Eastern Mediterranean region A rising fuel hub
- World-class natural gas discoveries
- Ε&P contracts granted to ExxonMobil, Shell, Total, ENI, Noble Energy, Delek, KOGAS and Qatar Petroleum
- Multi-billion infrastructure projects: EASTMED Pipeline and EusoAsia Interconnector
- New opportunities in the renewable energy utilization
- Regional cooperation and synergies for gas exploitation and export
INNOVATION AND START UPS
Creating value through ideas and having the potential of becoming a key driver of economic growth, the development of the Start-Ups sector is deemed of great importance for Cyprus. In this direction, significant incentives have been introduced by the Cyprus government in order to boost innovation and entrepreneurship, such as the approval of a package of tax incentives of investment into start-ups, as well as the introduction of the Start-up Visa for third country nationals.
Also, the Intellectual Property Box allows such companies to reduce tax expenses and investment cost under a special tax treatment. The Cyprus IP Box is in compliance with various international agreements and treaties, protecting companies that own Intellectual Property rights. Some advantages that make Cyprus a great place for start-ups and tech companies.
- Access to talents in Europe but also locally. Cyprus’s workforce with tertiary degree is one of the highest in Europe. In addition under the Startup-visa scheme, professionals from third countries can also relocate.
- English language is widely spoken in the whole country. Other languages besides Greek, is Russian, Arabic, Turkish and French.
- Low business costs to launch and low running costs. Labor costs and office space costs can be kept low in Cyprus, allowing companies to invest more funds on research and development.
- Low tax regime for corporations and individuals.
- Wide range and high quality of business service providers.
- Access to local and European funds, grands and incentives programs.