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Cyprus is the largest island in the eastern Mediterranean and is situated south of Turkey. The two main mountain ranges are the Pentadactylos in the north and the Troodos in central and south-western part of the island. Between them is the fertile plain of Messaoria.

Cyprus has long been a crossing point between Europe, Asia and Africa and still has many traces of successive civilisations – Roman theatres and villas, Byzantine churches and monasteries, Crusader castles, Ottoman mosques and pre-historic habitats.

The island’s main economic activities are tourism, clothing and craft exports and merchant shipping. Traditional crafts include embroidery, pottery and copperwork.

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The Republic of Cyprus gained its independence from Britain in 1960. Three years later, inter-communal violence between Turkish and Greek Cypriots broke out. Since 1974 the island is de facto divided after a coup d'état supported by the military junta in Greece against the Cypriot President Makarios and the subsequent intervention of the Turkish army. Despite numerous efforts to reunify the country, it remains divided to this day.

Cyprus is well known as the island of Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty, who, according to legend, was born here.


The history of Cyprus is one of the oldest recorded in the world and its historical significance is disproportionate to its small size. Considerable resources of copper and timber found in the island combined to make it a highly desirable territorial acquisition.

The first signs of cilivisation date to the ninth millennium B.C., but it was the discovery of copper (3900 – 2500 B.C.) that was to bring trade and wealth to the island.  Around 1200 B.C., a process began that was to largely stamp the island with the national identity that it maintains to this day. The arrival of Mycenaean-Achaean Greeks as permanent settlers introduced their language and culture to Cyprus which though subsequently subjugated by various conquerors; retained its Greek identity.  The Turkish Cypriots came much later and were mostly the descendants of the Ottoman Turks, who occupied the island for more than three hundred years (1571-1878).  They have contributed their own heritage to the country which is still visible in Ottoman monuments scattered around the island.

Christianity was introduced to Cyprus during the first century A.D. by St. Paul and    St. Barnabas, founder of the Church



The population of the Republic of Cyprus is 952.100 (2012) of whom 681.000 belong to the Greek Cypriot community, (71,5%), 90.100 (9,5%) to the Turkish Cypriot community (estimate) and 181.000 (19,0%) are foreign citizens residing in Cyprus.

Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities

The language of the Greek Cypriot community, whose presence on the island dates back to the second half of the second millennium BC, is Greek and the community adheres predominantly to the Autocephalous Greek Orthodox Church of Cyprus.The language of the Turkish Cypriot community is Turkish and the members of the community are Sunni Muslims. The original nucleus of the Turkish Cypriot community in Cyprus were soldiers of the Ottoman army that conquered the island in 1571 and of immigrants from Turkey brought in by the firman (decree) of Sultan Selim II. Gradually, the island evolved into a demographic mosaic of Greek and Turkish villages, as well as many mixed communities. The extent of this symbiosis could be seen in the participation of the two groups in commercial and religious fairs, pilgrimages to each other's shrines, and the occurrence, albeit rare, of intermarriage.  

Armenians, Maronites and Latins are recognised by the Constitution of the Republic of Cyprus (Article 2§3) as "religious groups" and, according to a referendum held on 13 November 1960, all three opted to belong to the Greek-Cypriot community, thus voting as part of that community. The members of these groups enjoy, of course, fully the same benefits as other community members and are eligible for public service and official positions of the Republic.

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Cyprus has a Mediterranean climate: hot, dry summers from June to September and mild, wet winters from November to March, which are separated by short Autumn and Spring seasons of rapid change in weather patterns in October, April and May. Sunshine is abundant during the whole year, particularly from April to September when the daily average exceeds eleven hours. Winds are on the whole light to moderate. Gales are very infrequent and heavy storms rare.

Snow hardly falls in the lowlands and on the northern range, but is a frequent feature every winter on ground above 1.000 metres in the Troodos range. From December till April snow is usually in evidence there, but hardly continuous. Yet, during the coldest months it lies in considerable depth for several weeks, attracting skiers.


International Business Centre

Cyprus has a number of comparative advantages that have contributed towards the island becoming an important international business and shipping centre:

  • EU and European Monetary union Member State
  • Strategic geographical location at the crossroad of three continents – ideal for expansion in new markets
  • Well developed socio-economic infrastructure
  • Broad range and international quality of financial and business services - legal, tax, accounting, investment and brokerage
  • Well developed banking sector for all financial needs
  • An active Stock Exchange and robust Securities and Exchange Commission
  • Market-oriented economy
  • Macroeconomic stability and performance
  • Highly educated, qualified and multilingual talent
  • Stable and pleasant business environment, accompanied by simple administrative procedures
  • Low set up and operating costs
  • Advanced transport and telecommunications network
  • Renown international shipping centre
  • Enviable quality of life
  • Stable, Reputable Political and Legal System
  • Simple, Low Taxation
The government of Cyprus, taking into consideration the numerous challenges arising from increasing competition, globalisation and the recent global financial crisis, is promoting a number of measures and initiatives to further establish Cyprus as an attractive investment destination. For the elimination of the unnecessary red tape, a number of measures are being promoted, relating to "Better Regulation". Also, efforts are being undertaken towards the removal of regulatory barriers for the setting up of enterprises. Moreover, the government intends to maintain its low taxation system and further expand the avoidance of double taxation treaties with more countries.

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