Cyprus is the third largest Island in the Mediterranean Sea; it is strategically located in the Eastern Mediterranean. Cyprus lies at the crossroads of three continents, Europe, Africa and Asia and is consequently at the centre of trade, with the busy shipping and aviation routes linking the three continents. This ideally makes Cyprus an international business centre.
The Republic of Cyprus is a member of the European Union; it became a full member on the 1st May 2004 and adopted the Euro as their national currency on the 1st January 2008. The accession of Cyprus in the EU initiated a period of opportunities for the Island. Cyprus has shown a dedication to economic growth, as they have a large number of investment opportunities and have encouraged foreign investors to invest on the Island.
In comparison with other countries in the European Union, the cost of living in Cyprus is fairly low, particularly office and living accommodation, telecommunication and labouring costs. Cyprus has a highly developed infrastructure with well organised port facilities, two international airports and modern roads, the travel and transport on the Island is also economical. All these have been incentives for investors to invest on the Island. Although incoming investors and property buyers have added to the Capital growth of property, there are still a lot of property investment opportunities. Cyprus has an advanced high income economy and is at the centre of international business; many multinational companies as well as international banking units operate from the Island.
Cyprus is also regarded as a highly respected international shipping centre; the Cyprus registry is ranked amongst the top ten in the world and third in the European Union. Cyprus upgraded its Shipping Taxation System in 2010 which provided more incentives and business opportunities for investors. Specifically, ship owners are automatically taxed under the Tonnage Tax System and are exempted from Income Tax and ship managers and charters have an option to be taxed under the Tonnage Tax System. Due to the Island’s geographical location, generous tax incentives and many mutual agreements in merchant shipping, Cyprus is regarded as an ideal location for setting up companies with shipping related activities including ship management companies.
Natural gas and crude oil has recently been discovered in the seabed separating Cyprus, Lebanon, Israel and Egypt. The seabed, specifically Block 12, belongs to Cyprus and is deemed to hold a significant quantity of natural gas and crude oil. The exploration of natural gas and crude oil is now taking place by Noble Productions Limited, after an agreement between the Cyprus Government and the Company. Noble Productions has informed the Cyprus government, by using High tech technology, that the Natural Gas is a lot more than what was initially thought. This has initiated a large number of business opportunities in Cyprus.