Cyprus is a renowned International Shipping Centre and home to some of the world’s 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.
Cyprus maintains a wide range of competitive advantages through a high quality maritime cluster, offering efficient and quality services, 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
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 gastronomy, its rich culture and extraordinary natural beauty. With its golden sandy beaches and clear blue waters, as well as its pleasant Mediterranean climate with year-round sunshine, Cyprus is and 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 in traditional villages. 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 project completions include golf courts, sea front resorts and spa and now casino hotels will be coming soon for the first time in Cyprus.
REAL ESTATE AND INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS
Acquiring property in Cyprus, either as an investment or as a second home, has always been a popular choice among foreign investors. A combination of high quality of life, year-round sunshine and natural beauty, ease of doing business and investment incentives offer investors an attractive experience in terms of both living and doing business.
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.
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 have an important role to play in the stability and security in the region of the Eastern Mediterranean.
Recent developments have attracted worldwide interest and significant investment 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.
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. The Cyprus government has introduced significant incentives in order to boost innovation and entrepreneurship, such as the approval of investment tax incentive packages for start-ups, as well as the introduction of the Start-up Visa for third country nationals.