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The Success of Cyprus as an International Business Center

There are many reasons that made Cyprus as one of the most attractive places in the world to foreign investors for the carrying out of their international activities. A summary of the main factors which have contributed to the success of Cyprus can be found below.

Legal System
The legal system of Cyprus is based on the English common law. As a result, businesspeople from countries familiar with this legislation find it very easy to do business in Cyprus, especially as the English language is widely spoken and used. The Continental System of administrative Law has been introduced and applied by virtue of the constitution.

Regulated auditors and accountantsCommercial banking in Cyprus is of a very high level and follows the British model. Commercial banks have very strong correspondent networks throughout the world and carry out traditional and specialised international financial transactions. Most of these banks subscribe to SWIFT, Reuters, Monitor, Telerate and other services. The computerised systems used by the banks for worldwide electronic banking are award winning. There are a number of local and international banks operating in Cyprus.

The main local banks are: Alpha Bank, Bank of Cyprus, Commercial Bank of Greece, Co-operative Central Bank, Eurobank, Hellenic Bank, Marfin Popular Bank,  National Bank of Greece, Pireaus Bank, Société Générale, Universal Bank.

International investors enjoy the benefits of the advantageous taxation system applicable to companies and individuals. In addition, they can take advantage of the island’s network of Double Tax Treaties.

Human Resources
Cyprus has a well educated and experienced workforce at all levels. Qualified professional, technical and clerical staff with wide experience and fluency in English and other languages are available for employment at a reasonable remuneration. The island ranks among the leading countries in the world in terms of university graduates, in relation to its population. Traditionally Cypriots study at the Universities of the United Kingdom, but a very large proportion now graduate from American or other European Universities, including Eastern Europe.

Air and Other Transport
The two airports of Cyprus (Larnaca and Paphos) handle almost 1.400 scheduled flights weekly served by 30 international airlines as well as flights operated by 92 chartered airlines. There are frequent direct connections with the U.K., Germany, Austria, Greece, Russia, and with other Central European counties as well and the Middle East. Sea passenger transportation is available for Egypt, Israel, mainland Greece and the Greek islands.

Cyprus has one of the most advanced telecommunications systems in the world with automatic telephone connections to more than 240 countries. The Cyprus Telecommunications Authority (CYTA), MTN, and OTENET provide a variety of advanced telecommunication services, covering the whole spectrum of customer needs for both voice and data communications, fixed and mobile. Special emphasis is also placed on the provision of value added services, such as various Internet-based multimedia services, which promise to be a dominant business activity in the next decade. The national network utilises state-of-the art technology such as digital switching and transmission systems and fibre optic cables.

Geographical Position
The ideal geographical position of Cyprus in combination with the other reasons explained in this section has greatly influenced business people to set up their offices on the island for doing business in Central and Eastern European countries, the Middle East, North Africa, etc.

Housing, Schools and Doctors
The availability of housing of a very high standard, hotels comparable to first class international hotels and very good English schools are added advantages for using Cyprus as a regional headquarter country or for establishing offices to carry out international operations. Moreover, overseas families using Cyprus take advantage of a good health system and an environment with a very low crime rate.

Friendly Relations
Cyprus entities enjoy great respectability all over the world because of the excellent international relations and the friendly relations the island has with Western European countries and North America, as well as with most countries in Central and Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

Low Operational Costs / Standard of Living
Repeated international surveys indicate that Cyprus has one of the lowest operational costs among the world’s international financial centers but at the same time it provides a fairly high standard of living.

For more information on setting-up your business in Cyprus' International Business Center, contact us.